Kim Jong Un vows to boost nuclear capability


North Korean leader Kim Jong Un vowed to further bolster his country’s nuclear fighting capabilities as he supervised the country’s second test-flight of a new intercontinental ballistic missile designed to strike the mainland U.S., state media reported Thursday.
Kim’s statement suggests North Korea would ramp up weapons testing activities to expand its arsenals in response to recent U.S. steps to enhance its security commitment to ally South Korea.
“The present unstable situation in which the security environment on the Korean peninsula is being seriously threatened by the hostile forces every moment,” Kim said, according to state media. “(That) requires more intense efforts to implement the line of bolstering nuclear war deterrent.”
The Hwasong-18 is a developmental, road-mobile missile, whose built-in solid propellant make it more difficult for opponents to detect its launches in advance than liquid-fuelled missiles. North Korea first tested the missile in April, and Kim has called it the most powerful weapon of his nuclear forces.
The missile’s flight time is the longest-ever recorded by any weapon launched by North Korea. If launched on a standard trajectory, the missile could fly to the mainland U.S. though some experts say North Korea still has some technologies to master to acquire functioning nuclear-armed missiles.
South Korea, Japan and the United States criticised North Korea over the launch that they said posed a threat to regional and international peace.
Kim set for unspecified tasks for the North’s national defence sector, saying North Korea will take “a series of stronger military offensive” until the U.S. and South Korea “admit their shameful defeat of their useless hostile policy toward (North Korea) in despair and give up their policy.”