North Korea releases dramatic video confirming ICBM missile test
North Korea state media on Friday released dramatic footage of its recent intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) test, its 12th missile test this year, The Associated Press reported.
The footage confirms that North Korea launched its first ICBM test since 2017 on Thursday. The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported that the missile had traveled close to 700 miles and had reached its highest altitude of close to 4,000 miles before it crashed into the water between Japan and North Korea, the news outlet noted.
Footage shown by North Korean state TV showed a dramatized missile launch with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un wearing a leather jacket and sunglasses while walking with officials in slow motion and looking at their watches seriously, according to a video shared by the AP.
The video shows the missile being rolled out and launched, later panning to Kim being joined by a group of men in gear clapping and appearing to praise him.
KCNA reported Kim saying “The strategic forces … are fully ready to thoroughly curb and contain any dangerous military attempts of the U.S. imperialists” as he oversaw the launch, according to Reuters.
Analysts believe that this latest missile test would be the biggest yet liquid-fueled missile that any nation has launched, according to Reuters, amid fears over the country’s escalatory series of missile launches.
The White House denounced the missile test on Thursday.
“This launch is a brazen violation of multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions and needlessly raises tensions and risks destabilizing the security situation in the region,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement.
“This action demonstrates that the DPRK continues to prioritize its weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs over the well-being of its people.” The DPRK is a reference to North Korea’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
The development and footage already come at a particularly sensitive time amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which is now into its second month.