North Korea’s Kim brings daughter to oversee test of suspected Hwasong-17 ICBM

© Stringer, AFP

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un oversaw a test of Pyongyang's newest intercontinental ballistic missile with his daughter in tow for the first time, state media reported Saturday.

Declaring he would meet perceived US nuclear threats with nukes of his own, Kim supervised the launch on Friday of the black-and-white missile, which the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said was the Hwasong-17 -- dubbed the "monster missile" by analysts.

The launch was successful, KCNA said, adding that the "test-fire clearly proved the reliability of the new major strategic weapon system".

KCNA said Kim attended the launch "together with his beloved daughter and wife", and state media images showed a beaming Kim accompanied by a young girl in a puffer jacket and red shoes as he walked in front of the missile.

Pyongyang's state media has never mentioned Kim's children, and this was the first official confirmation that he had a daughter, experts said.

The latest launch shows that "the nuclear forces of the DPRK have secured another reliable and maximum capacity to contain any nuclear threat", KCNA said, using the country's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

Since Kim declared North Korea an "irreversible" nuclear state in September, Washington has ramped up regional security cooperation, including its largest-ever joint air exercises with South Korea.


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