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North Korea’s Leader Issues Warning After Test of Most Advanced Missile

North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un, issued a stark warning of “more offensive actions” in response to perceived military threats after overseeing the third test of the country’s most advanced missile, the Hwasong-18 ICBM. The developmental, solid-fueled intercontinental ballistic missile is designed to target the mainland United States, marking a significant advancement in North Korea’s missile capabilities.

Kim emphasized that the test demonstrated North Korea’s ability to respond forcefully to any perceived wrong decisions by Washington. The launch served as a clear signal to what Kim referred to as “hostile forces” engaging in “reckless military confrontation hysteria” against his country. The North Korean leader stressed the importance of countering military threats with strong offensive actions.

Accompanied by his daughter, Kim observed the missile launch at a site east of Pyongyang. The missile reportedly reached an altitude of 6,518 kilometers (4,050 miles) and covered a distance of approximately 1,000 kilometers during its 73-minute flight. The missile accurately hit its intended target, an empty patch of sea, according to the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

Kim presented “new important tasks” for accelerating the development of North Korea’s nuclear strategic forces, as reported by KCNA. However, specific details about these tasks were not provided. The missile test drew condemnation from South Korea, Japan, and the United States, with all three countries characterizing it as a flagrant violation of UN Security Council resolutions.

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol emphasized that provocative actions by Pyongyang would only bring greater pain to the North Korean regime. The test occurred shortly after the arrival of a US nuclear-powered submarine in the South Korean port of Busan and a joint US-South Korean warning that any nuclear attack from North Korea would spell “the end of the Kim regime.”

North Korea has conducted a record number of tests of banned weapons in the current year, heightening tensions and prompting international concerns. The UN Security Council has consistently adopted resolutions urging North Korea to halt its nuclear and ballistic missile programs since the country’s first nuclear test in 2006.

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