North Korea's Kim Jong-un releases new Hollywood-style missile launch propaganda film

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The North Korean leader rarely appeared in public since the start of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, with many questioning the state of his health and country. Kim Jong-un made an explosive comeback this week with the release of a new propaganda film to show off Pyongyang’s missile arsenal at a time of heightened tension for the whole world. In the Hollywood-style clip, the North Korean leader can be seen inspecting a missile before witnessing its launch alongside members of his military.

State media reported on Friday Pyongyang conducted the launch to test a new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) to demonstrate the might of its nuclear force and deter any US military moves.

According to military analysts, the Hwasong-17 is the largest liquid-fuelled missile ever launched by any country from a road-mobile launcher.

The ICBM’s range and size also suggest Pyongyang is planning to tip it with multiple warheads that could hit several targets or with decoys to confuse defenders, according to analysts.

The KCNA state news agency reported North Korea’s leader had ordered the test because of the “daily-escalating military tension in and around the Korean peninsula”.

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He also warned of the “inevitability of the long-standing confrontation with the US imperialists accompanied by the danger of a nuclear war”

Overseeing the launch, Kim is reported to have said: “The strategic forces … are fully ready to thoroughly curb and contain any dangerous military attempts of the US imperialists.

South Korea’s conservative president-elect Yoon Suk-yeol said North Korea had nothing to gain from provocation.

Speaking to Chinese President Xi Jinping after the launch, Yoon called for close coordination on North Korea’s complete denuclearisation.

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President Xi said China and South Korea should bolster mutual political trust, Chinese state broadcaster CCTV said.

Beijing, North Korea’s sole major ally and neighbour, urged restraint on “all sides” after the test.

The launch also drew condemnation from the United States and Japan.

Kim said the test would help convince the world of the modern features of his country’s strategic forces.

“Any forces should be made to be well aware of the fact that they will have to pay a very dear price before daring to attempt to infringe upon the security of our country,” he said.

There was no immediate comment from the White House or State Department on Kim’s remarks.

The Security Council will meet later on Friday to discuss the launch.

On Thursday, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged North Korea “to desist from taking any further counter-productive actions”.

Kim said the test would help convince the world of the modern features of his country’s strategic forces.



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