North Korea said that Thursday's launch of the intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) Hwasongpho-17 was a "stronger warning" to the US and South Korea for their provocative and aggressive large-scale war drills, North Korea said in a press release.
In the state news agency, KCNA, North Korea said, "Under the grave situation in which the most unstable security environment is being created in the Korean peninsula due to the frantic, provocative and aggressive large-scale war drills conducted by the US and the south Korean puppet traitors against the DPRK, the Central Military Commission of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) saw to it that a launching drill of the ICBM Hwasongpho-17 was conducted on March 16."
This statement came after North Korea fired a long-range ballistic missile toward the East Sea on Thursday. "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 in defiance of the DPRK's severe warning, and give an understanding of the concern about the armed conflict which has come to a threatening reality, and to more clearly show the practical will of the Party and government of the DPRK to counterattack with overwhelming offensive measures anytime," the statement added.
North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un guided the launching drill of an ICBM unit on the spot. Leading officials of the WPK Central Committee and commanding officers of the Missile General Bureau watched the launching drill in the presence of the respected Comrade Kim Jong Un. The drill was aimed at confirming the mobile and normal operation and reliability of the DPRK's nuclear war deterrent.
"The ICBM Hwasongpho-17, launched at the Pyongyang International Airport, travelled up to a maximum altitude of 6 045km and flew a distance of 1 000.2 km for 4 151s before accurately landing on the preset area in the open waters of the East Sea of Korea," according to the statement.
North Korea further assured that the launching of the drill had no negative impact on the security of neighbouring countries. The drill confirmed the war readiness of the ICBM unit and the exceptional militancy of the DPRK's strategic forces and strictly verified their reliability. In the statement, Kim Jong Un expressed great satisfaction and said that the drill clearly proved once again the conviction and guarantee of the operating systems of the nuclear strategic forces undergoing rapid development.
"Noting that our action orientation and line to cope with the long-term security environment of the state and the enemies' threat remains unchangeable, 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," the statement read in KCNA.
"Saying that we will continue to make the US and South Korea, which show open hostility towards the DPRK and frequently stage large-scale military drills in and around the Korean peninsula, find themselves being reckless, he mentioned our policy for counteraction against the enemies that is to make them realize themselves that their persistent expanded anti-DPRK military moves will bring an irreversible, grave threat to them," the statement added.
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Reiterating the solemn declaration of the WPK and the DPRK government that they would react to nuclear weapons with nukes and frontal confrontation in kind, Kim Jong Un called for strictly maintaining the rapid response posture of the strategic forces to cope with any armed conflict and war.
The nuclear strategic forces of the DPRK will make perfect preparations for carrying out their important mission anytime.