North Korea has announced that it successfully tested its first solid-fuel intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) in a major breakthrough for its banned weapons programme.
The Hwasong-18 took off from a site close to the capital, Pyongyang, on Thursday and flew for about 1,000 kilometres, according to official media KCNA, which described the launch as a “miraculous success”.
Leader Kim Jong Un supervised the event accompanied by his wife, young daughter and powerful sister Kim Yo Jong.
KCNA cited Kim as saying the Hwasong-18 would rapidly advance North Korea’s nuclear response posture and further support an aggressive military strategy that promises to maintain “nuke for nuke and an all-out confrontation for an all-out confrontation” against its rivals.
North Korea conducted a record number of missile tests last year, despite being banned from doing so under United Nations resolutions.
Talks on denuclearisation have been stalled since 2019 when a high-profile summit between Kim and then US President Donald Trump collapsed.