North Korea’s Kim stresses ‘formidable striking capabilities’ after latest missile test

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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un boasted that his country will develop “formidable striking capabilities” to defend against all outside threats after conducting its latest missile test, Reuters reported.

North Korea launched its Hwasong-17 missile on Thursday, saying this was its largest intercontinental ballistic missile yet, according to Reuters.

“Only when one is equipped with the formidable striking capabilities, overwhelming military power that cannot be stopped by anyone, one can prevent a war, guarantee the security of the country and contain and put under control all threats and blackmails by the imperialists,” Kim said in a statement, according to state news agencies.

North Korea’s neighbors, South Korea and Japan, both confirmed that the latest missile launch was higher and longer than previous ones.

Kim said the new missiles will help deter military aggression by the United States, which has aimed to pressure North Korea to hand over or reduce its nuclear arsenal and ambitions.

U.S. officials announced on Friday that they will push to strengthen United Nations sanctions against North Korea after its latest missile launch, but Chinese and Russian officials oppose the move and have argued for sanctions to be relaxed.

Kim noted that North Korea’s nuclear force will become a “more perfect and stronger strategic force,” Reuters noted.

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