Kim: Will soon match US in military might
‘North Korea nearing completion of its arms programme’
Pyongyang, Sept 16: North Korea leader Kim Jong-un said that the country is nearing its goal of “equilibrium” in military force with the United States, as the United Nations Security Council strongly condemned the North’s “highly provocative” ballistic missile test on Friday.
The North’s official Korean Central News Agency carried Mr Kim’s comments on Saturday — a day after US and South Korean militaries detected the missile launch from the North Korean capital Pyongyang.
It travelled 3,700 kilometers as it flew over Japan before landing in the northern Pacific Ocean. It was the country’s longest-ever test flight of a ballistic missile.
The North has confirmed the missile as an intermediate range Hwasong-12, the same model launched over Japan on August 29.
The KCNA said that Mr Kim expressed great satisfaction over the launch, which he said verified the “combat efficiency and reliability” of the missile and the success of efforts to increase its power.
Mr Kim was quoted as
declaring the missile as operationally ready. He vowed to complete his nuclear weapons programme in the face of strengthening international sanctions, the agency said.
The UNSC accused North Korea of undermining regional peace and security by launching its latest missile over Japan and said its nuclear and missile tests “have caused grave security concerns around the world.”
Mr Kim also said the country, despite “limitless” international sanctions, has nearly completed the building of its nuclear weapons force and called for “all-state efforts” to reach the goal and obtain a “capacity for nuclear counterattack the US cannot cope with.”
In this photograph released by Korean Central News Agency on Saturday, North Korea leader Kim Jong-un inspects a launching drill of the medium-and-long range strategic ballistic rocket Hwasong-12 at an undisclosed location.