North Korea warns of ‘full’ response to nuclear weapons to ‘threats’ from US allies

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North Korean leader Kim Jong-un walks hand in hand with his daughter at a missile launch test site. This photo was released by the North Korean state media agency KCNA on November 19, 2022 and could not be independently verified by Reuters. (KCNA via Reuters)

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has vowed to respond to nuclear threats with nuclear weapons after the hermit kingdom fired an intercontinental ballistic missile that has the potential to reach the US mainland.

State media KCNA reported on Saturday that Kim attended the launch with his young daughter for the first time. walking hand in hand at the testing site. Little is known about his personal life, and this is the first confirmation of her existence.

“Kim Jong Un has solemnly declared that if the enemies continue to pose threats, our party and government will respond decisively to nuclear weapons and to all-out confrontation,” state media said.

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North Korea launched a Hwasong-17 missile from the capital Pyongyang on Friday that landed in waters west of the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido.

Kim Jong Un, with his wife Ri Sol Ju in the background, can be seen on the day of the rocket launch

Kim Jong Un, with his wife Ri Sol Ju in the background, can be seen on the day of the rocket launch. This photo was released by the North Korean state media agency KCNA on November 19, 2022 and could not be independently verified by Reuters. (KCNA via Reuters)

According to Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada, the missile would have flown about 1,000 kilometers in a high orbit and reached a maximum altitude of 6,000 kilometers.

Depending on the weight of each warhead it carried, Hamada estimated the missile could have a range of more than 15,000 miles, “in which case the entire US mainland would be within its range,” he said.

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In response to Friday’s missile launch, US B-1B bombers participated in separate joint exercises with South Korean and Japanese fighter jets.

It was North Korea’s second major weapons test this month, which Kim says shows it has a weapon to face US-led military threats.

The . Vice President Kamala Harris called an emergency meeting at the APEC summit in Thailand with leaders from Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

Harris called North Korea’s launch a “brutal violation” of multiple United Nations Security Council resolutions.

“It destabilizes security in the region and unnecessarily heightens tensions,” Harris said. “We strongly condemn these actions and we again call on North Korea to halt further unlawful, destabilizing actions.”

The launch comes days after President Biden said the US, Japan and South Korea, and reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to defend the pair of countries with a full range of capabilities, including nuclear weapons.

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President Biden shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping

President Biden shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping as they meet on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia, last week. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

In response, North Korean foreign minister Choe Son Hui warned of “more violent” military responses just hours before Friday’s launch. “The US will be well aware that it is gambling, which it will certainly regret,” she said, adding that recent military exercises with the US and its allies in the region reflect North Korea’s provocations. “couldn’t control”.

After meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 summit in Bali last week, Biden said Beijing has “an obligation to try to make it clear” to North Korea.

While the president said he is not sure China “can control” North Korea’s actions, he said: “I am confident that China is not looking for North Korea to engage in further escalating means. “

On nuclear testing conducted by North Korea, Biden said, “We should take certain actions that would be more defensive on our behalf, and it wouldn’t be directed against… China, but it would be to send a clear message to North Korea.

“We are going to defend our allies, as well as American soil and American capability.”

The UN Security Council will meet on Monday at Japan’s request for an emergency meeting on North Korea.

With additional reporting by Dylan Stableford.

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