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North Korea has successfully tested its most advanced solid-fuel intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), the Hwasong-18, as confirmed by state media and personally overseen by leader Kim Jong Un.

This demonstration, described as a warning to the United States, is the latest in Pyongyang’s ongoing development of its nuclear capabilities. Kim Jong Un emphasized that the test sent a “clear signal to the hostile forces” and has laid out “important new tasks” for the country’s nuclear development, according to the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

The missile test exhibited its capacity to cover a distance of 1,002km and reach a peak altitude of 6,518km, theoretically enabling it to target any location within the United States.

Kim Jong Un, as quoted by KCNA, stated, “The successful drill is a practical demonstration of the actual condition and reliability of the formidable striking capabilities and absolute nuclear war deterrent possessed by the DPRK’s armed forces.” He also highlighted the United States and its allies’ “ongoing ambition” for confrontation.

This test, condemned by the US, South Korea, and Japan, marks the third launch of a solid-fuel ICBM by North Korea this year, following previous tests in April and July. Solid-fuel missiles are known for their mobility and rapid deployment.

The launch occurred amidst heightened tensions with the US and South Korea, with recent exchanges of strong rhetoric regarding nuclear capabilities and military exercises. North Korea has significantly advanced its nuclear and missile technology under Kim Jong Un’s leadership, despite international sanctions, and declared itself as an “irreversible” nuclear power in 2023.


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