Highlights

  • Leader hailed new ICBM as "world's strongest strategic weapon"
  • Kim handed promotions to more than 100 officials and scientists
  • UNSC has imposed sanctions on North Korea over its nuclear, missile activity since 2006.

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North Korea to have world's most powerful nuclear force, vows Kim Jong Un

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said his country aimed to have the world's most powerful nuclear force as he celebrated the launch of its newest intercontinental ballistic missile

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said his country aimed to have the world's most powerful nuclear force as he celebrated the launch of its newest intercontinental ballistic missile at a ceremony with his young daughter, state media reported Sunday.

Kim also handed promotions to more than 100 officials and scientists for their work on the Hwasong-17 -- dubbed the "monster missile" by analysts and believed to be capable of reaching the US mainland -- just days after Pyongyang test-fired it in one of its most powerful launches yet.

Hailing the new ICBM as "the world's strongest strategic weapon", Kim said North Korean scientists had made a "wonderful leap forward in the development of the technology of mounting nuclear warheads on ballistic missiles," the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported.

Also Watch| 'Puppet of US': North Korea slams UN's Guterres for criticising its missile tests

Building the nuclear force to protect the dignity and sovereignty of the state and the people "is the greatest and most important revolutionary cause, and its ultimate goal is to possess the world's most powerful strategic force, the absolute force unprecedented in the century," Kim was quoted as saying in his order promoting the officials.

The leading officials and scientists had demonstrated to the world Pyongyang's "goal of building the world's strongest army", he added.

The launching vehicle for the new Hwasong-17 ICBM was awarded the title of "DPRK Hero", a separate KCNA report said, using the acronym for the North's official name.

It "clearly proved before the world that the DPRK is a full-fledged nuclear power," the report said, adding the North "fully demonstrated its might as the most powerful ICBM state".

The UN Security Council has passed nearly a dozen resolutions imposing sanctions on North Korea over its nuclear and missile activity since 2006.

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