Kim promises to equip North Korea with the most powerful nuclear force in the world

Kim promises to equip North Korea with the most powerful nuclear force in the world


Nuclear-armed North Korea aims to have “the most powerful strategic force in the world”, its leader Kim Jong Un said at a ceremony celebrating the launch of a new intercontinental missile, during which his young daughter appeared in public for the second time.

Mr. Kim rewarded with a massive series of promotions the military and scientists involved in the development of the new Hwasong-17, dubbed the “monster missile” by military analysts, capable of reaching the continental United States. This intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) was tested on November 18, falling in waters off Japan. 

The Hwasong-17 is “the strongest strategic weapon in the world” and constitutes “a magnificent leap forward in the development of technology to mount nuclear warheads on ballistic missiles”, the leader enthused, quoted Sunday by the North Korean official agency KCNA. 

Scientists, soldiers and officials of this program have contributed to the “goal of building the strongest army in the world”, he further welcomed . 

The leader stressed, in his order rewarding participants in the weapons program, that the purpose of developing a nuclear force was “to reliably protect the dignity and sovereignty of the state and the people.” 

It is “the largest and most important revolutionary cause, and its ultimate goal is to possess the most powerful strategic force in the world, the absolute force unprecedented in the century”, he proclaimed. 

For Hong Min of the Korea Institute for National Unification, Pyongyang's highlighting of the Hwasong-17 test firing was aimed at to strengthen its status as a nuclear power. 

“While the (launch of) Hwasong-15 in 2017 was aimed at becoming a nation capable of threatening US territory with atomic weapons, the latest missile focuses on the goal of becoming the most powerful state with ICBM,” he said.

The official Rodong Simun daily published, also on Sunday, more than a dozen photos showing Kim Jong Un posing in the company of hundreds of civilians and soldiers during the ceremony, accompanied by “his beloved daughter”. The existence of the latter was first revealed last week, when North Korean media published photos of her watching with her father, hand in hand, the launch of the Hwasong-17. < /p>

Family photo 

Photos from Sunday show the teenager, believed to be Kim Jong Un's second child and named Ju Ae, dressed in a black coat, arm in arm with her father. Some of the images show the father and daughter posing together in front of the missile in the company of military personnel in uniform. 

The sudden appearance of this child has revived speculation about a future transfer of dynastic power in Korea North, where Kim Jong Un succeeded his father Kim Jong Il and grandfather Kim Il Sung. South Korean intelligence estimates that Mr Kim, who married in 2009, has three children. 

For Yang Moo-jin, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul, the presence of Kim Jong Un's daughter was meant to portray the Hwasong-17 as “the protector of the future generation”. 


“It looks like he will continue to parade his daughter on various occasions and use her as an instrument for propaganda,” he added. 

In addition to promotions for participants in the weapons program, the regime bestowed the distinction of “Hero of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea” (DPRK, the official name of North Korea) to the vehicle that launched the missile on 18 November, KCNA added in another dispatch. 

The launch “clearly proved to the world that the DPRK is a full-fledged nuclear power”, the official agency further claimed. < /p>

This round of self-congratulations by the regime comes as tensions are at their height on the Korean peninsula, following a record series of missile tests by Pyongyang and as Seoul, Washington and Tokyo have stepped up cooperation military and their joint maneuvers in the region. 

North Korea proclaimed in September that its status as a nuclear power was “irreversible”, definitively closing the door to any negotiations on its disarmament. She later threatened the United States with nuclear response in the event of an attack. 

Seoul and Washington also expect Pyongyang to carry out a nuclear test soon, which would be the seventh in its history and the first in five years.