Saturday, February 4, 2023

North Korea Leader Kim Jong-un Goes Hollywood In Video Marking Country’s Missile Launch

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North Korea has said that yesterday’s test of an intercontinental ballistic missile under the orders of Kim Jong-un was its biggest yet.

State television dramatised the testing process like a Hollywood film, showing the supreme leader walking in slow motion in front of his giant missile in sunglasses and a black leather motorcycle jacket.

It edited quick cuts that alternately show Kim and other officials staring at their watches before Kim takes off his shades and nods, with the video then showing the missile being rolled out of the hangar.

The Hwasong-17, which was fired at a high angle to avoid the territorial waters of neighbours, reached a maximum altitude of 6,248km (3,880 miles) and travelled 1,090km (680 miles) during a 67-minute flight, before landing in waters between North Korea and Japan, Pyongyang’s official Korean Central News Agency said.

North Korean officials vowed to expand “nuclear war deterrent” while preparing for a “long-standing confrontation” with the United States.

The state media report came a day after the militaries of South Korea and Japan said that they detected Pyongyang launching an ICBM in its first long-range test since 2017.

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Believed to be about 25m (82ft) long, the Hwasong-17 is North Korea’s longest-range weapon and, by some estimates, the world’s biggest road-mobile ballistic missile system. North Korea revealed the missile in a military parade in October 2020 and Thursday’s launch was its first full-range test.

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The launch triggered the US to impose new sanctions on companies, organisations and individuals. Ned Price, spokesman for the US State Department, said: “The United States today announced sanctions on five entities and individuals located in Russia and the DPRK, and one entity in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) for proliferation activities under the Iran, North Korea, and Syria Nonproliferation Act.”

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) is North Korea’s official name.

Sanctions were imposed on North Korea’s second academy of natural science foreign affairs bureau, a North Korean individual, Ri Sung-chol; two Russian companies and one Russian individual for “transferring sensitive items to North Korea’s missile programme”, according to the State Department.

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“These measures are part of our ongoing efforts to impede the DPRK’s ability to advance its missile program and they highlight the negative role Russia plays on the world stage as a proliferator to programmes of concern,” added Price.

South Korea’s new president-elect, Yoon Suk-yeol, who is due to take office on May 10, said that North Korea would not benefit from the barrage of missile tests it has been conducting since the beginning of the year.

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“I sternly warn North Korea that there is nothing that can be gained from provocations. The Republic of Korea [South Korea] will safeguard freedom and peace by building a stronger security posture,” wrote Yoon on his Facebook page.

President Moon had hoped to leave a more peaceful Korean Peninsula as a pillar of his legacy but tensions have risen again as Pyongyang has continued to test weapons systems and ramp up its rhetoric.

North Korea fired rockets from multiple launchers from locations north of Pyongyang into the Yellow Sea on Sunday and carried out what appeared to be a failed test of an ICBM last week, which exploded shortly after launch.

Yoon fought on a campaign platform of taking a tougher line. His transition team issued a statement on yesterday’s test saying that it “strongly condemns such provocative acts that threaten peace in Northeast Asia, including the Korean Peninsula, and the world”.

Photo Credit: Getty

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