North Korea says ICBM launch was a warning

North Korea says its latest intercontinental ballistic missile launch demonstrates a tough response posture to ongoing US-South Korea military drills.

North Korea, ICBM launch, 'warning

North Korea has launched its largest Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), fired during a drill to demonstrate a "tough response posture" to ongoing US-South Korea military drills, state media reported.

Photos released on Friday by the countrys government media showed Kim Jong-un watching Thursdays launch with his daughter and included pictures from space apparently shot by a camera mounted on the missile.

North Korea fired the ICBM into the sea between the Korean peninsula and Japan, hours before South Koreas president flew to Tokyo for a summit that discussed ways to counter the nuclear-armed North.

"The launching drill of the strategic weapon serves as an occasion to give a stronger warning to the enemies intentionally escalating the tension in the Korean peninsula while persistently resorting to irresponsible and reckless military threats," state news agency KCNA said.

The Norths ballistic missiles are banned under United Nations Security Council resolutions and the launch drew condemnation from governments in Seoul, Washington and Tokyo.

South Korean and American forces began 11 days of joint drills, dubbed "Freedom Shield 23," on Monday, held on a scale not seen since 2017 to counter the Norths growing threats.

He "stressed the need to strike fear into the enemies, really deter war and reliably guarantee the peaceful life of our people and their struggle for socialist construction by irreversibly bolstering up the nuclear war deterrent," KCNA reported.

China, which has a defence pact with North Korea, also blamed the United States for the current tensions, saying they are caused by Washingtons efforts to increase pressure on Pyongyang.

The missile was launched from Pyongyangs airport and KCNA said it travelled up to a maximum altitude of 6,045 km and flew a distance of 1,000 km for just over 69 minutes, before falling into the open sea. 

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