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North Korea Successfully Tested Hwasong-17 ICBM Missile in Latest Launch, DPRK Media Says

© REUTERS / KCNANorth Korean leader Kim Jong Un walks away from what state media report is a "new type" of intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) in this undated photo released on March 24, 2022 by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un walks away from what state media report is a new type of intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) in this undated photo released on March 24, 2022 by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).  - Sputnik International, 1920, 24.03.2022
The test, conducted on Thursday, was noted around the globe and more closely observed by the militaries of Japan and South Korea, marking a return to long-range testing by the nuclear-armed country, which has conducted 11 tests this year alone.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un personally observed the test-firing of the country's "new type" of intercontinental ballistic missile, the state KCNA news agency reported on Friday.
"The test-launch of a new type inter-continental ballistic missile Hwasongpho-17 of the DPRK strategic forces was conducted on March 24 [...] under the direct guidance of Kim Jong Un," the report said.
According to the news agency, the missile, which was launched from the Pyongyang International Airport, rose to a maximum altitude of 6,248.5 kilometers and flew a distance of 1,090 kilometers for 4,052 seconds (67 minutes) before hitting a pre-set target in the open waters of the sea of Japan.
The Hwasong-17 is a large intercontinental ballistic missile first demonstrated in October 2020. It had never reportedly been fully test-fired. South Korea's military estimated the range of the Thursday launch to be 6,200 kilometers, confirming the DPRK claim, indicating that the test results reveal higher numbers than North Korea's last ICBM test in October 2017.
According to KCNA, the North Korean leader stated that the new weapon would "creditably perform its mission and duty as a powerful nuclear war deterrent."
Kim reportedly "proudly said that the emergence of the new strategic weapon of the DPRK would make the whole world clearly aware of the power of our strategic armed forces once again."
The DPRK leader also said that "we must make it clear that anyone who tries to infringe on the security of our country will inevitably pay a terrible price," adding that he "would prepare thoroughly", per the translation.

Kim "affirmed that the strategic armed forces of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea are fully prepared to thoroughly block and deter any dangerous military intentions of the American imperialists," the agency quoted its leader as saying.

Long-range missile and nuclear testing had been halted after Kim met with then-US President Donald Trump for a failed diplomacy session in 2019. Earlier this year, North Korea warned it might end a self-imposed moratorium on long-range and nuclear tests, amid growing claims from the US and South Korea that Pyongyang would soon fire an ICBM at full range.
This picture taken on September 30, 2021 and released from North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on October 1 shows a test-fire of a newly developed anti-aircraft missile carried out by the Academy of Defence Science of the DPRK.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 24.03.2022
South Korea 'Fires Multiple Ballistic and Guided Missiles' Following Alleged ICBM Launch by DPRK
Also in March, the US accused the DPRK of conducting tests of an intercontinental ballistic missile, but Pyongyang returned that the tests were of "reconnaissance satellites."
The South Korean media reported earlier that a test of the Hwasong-17 failed last week, exploding in the skies over the capital shortly after launch.
According to reports, the DPRK has tested three ICBMs, the most recent in November 2017, which was assessed as being powerful enough to reach the continental United States.
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