North Korea has released a bizarre, slow-mo video of Kim Jong-Un giving the go-ahead for the launch of a new ballistic missile
On Thursday North Korea tested the Hwasong-17, a huge new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) dubbed the 'Monster' that is believed to be the largest in the nation's history.
It marks the end of a self-imposed ban on long-range missile testing, following the previous test conducted in 2017.
North Korean state media said Kim directly guided the missile himself, and released a video to mark the event.
In it, Kim struts out from the hanger containing the enormous missile wearing a leather jacket, pair of wide leg trousers and black sunglasses, despite the seemingly overcast day.
He then points at something off the horizon while flanked by the generals.
He checks his watch, before the camera pans to his two generals who do the same.
The shots flick between the three men as they stare at their watches, before Kim tears off his sunglasses to look directly into the camera.
He nods, giving the go ahead for the rocket launch, as one of the generals gives a thumbs up.
South Korea called the launch a "clear violation" of UN Security Council resolutions, and launched drills of their own missiles from the land, sea and air in response to the test.
The US also condemned the use of the Hwasong-17 - which analysts have called a "monster missile" - branding it a "brazen violation" of multiple UN Security Council resolutions.
United Nations chief Antonio Guterres urged Pyongyang to "desist from taking any further counter-productive actions," his spokesman said.
The launch was "another breach" of North Korea's "announced moratorium in 2018 on launches of this nature, and a clear violation of Security Council resolutions," Stephane Dujarric said in a statement.
North Korea's resumption of long-range missile tests puts it closer than ever to having a reliable way of delivering multiple nuclear warheads anywhere in the United States, analysts say.
Kim said the test was designed to demonstrate the might of its nuclear force and deter any US military moves.
In words published by Pyongyang’s official Korean Central News Agency, Kim vowed for North Korea's army to military to acquire “formidable military and technical capabilities unperturbed by any military threat and blackmail and keep themselves fully ready for a long-standing confrontation with the US imperialists.”
The weapons flew for 677 miles, reaching a altitude of 3,882 miles before hitting a target in the sea between North Korea and Japan, KCNA said.
It marks the first full-scale ICBM test launch since 2017. There were two launches in February that U.S. officials said were preliminary tests of the Hwasong-17.
With a range that the Japanese government said probably exceeds 15,000 km (9,320 miles), the missile could strike targets anywhere in the world outside of a few countries in South America and parts of Antarctica.
That range - and its massive size - suggest North Korea plans to tip it with multiple warheads that could hit several targets or deploy decoys to confuse defenders, analysts say.
North Korea's smaller Hwasong-15 ICBM, tested in 2017, can reach any part of the United States, but cannot carry as large of a payload.
"Since there aren't any good targets farther away, this missile is likely about carrying more weight — in the form of multiple nuclear warheads," said Melissa Hanham, a researcher at Stanford University's Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) in California. "This makes U.S. ballistic missile defence even more difficult to achieve."