Pyongyang: North Korea has released a series of pictures showing Kim Jong-un grinning as he orders his country’s latest missile test. The provocative and unprecedented launch which saw a rocket fired over Hokkaido, northern Japan, before crashing into the sea – was condemned unanimously by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
But Mr Kim seemingly enjoyed the exercise, and expressed “great satisfaction” over the launch, according to a statement. He was pictured among his advisers, watching from behind a desk while the Hwasong-12 missile took off in the distance.
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The statement continued: “Kim Jong-un arrived at the launching ground early at dawn and watched the artillerymen promptly moving and deploying the Hwasong-12 rocket launcher, praising them for their smart and accurate movement.
“He learned in detail about the launch plan, preset flight track and target waters and issued an order to launch the rocket.” It is common for propaganda photos to be released by North Korea following missile tests to demonstrate their weapons.
The country also uses photography to showcase the activities of Mr Kim, often in a military context. North Korea has vowed Tuesday’s missile launch was just the opening salvo in a campaign against its enemies in the Pacific.
It said its aim was “containing Guam”, an island in the Pacific where the US has a large military facility, and referred to it as an “advanced base of invasion”. Tensions have been steadily mounting in the Korean peninsula in recent years as the North continues in its efforts to develop its missile systems.
President Donald Trump has threatened to respond to North Korea with “fire and fury” and the US has reiterated its “ironclad” commitment to its allies in the region.
After the latest test, the UK Prime Minister Theresa May called on China to put more pressure on North Korea to stop missile tests. She said Beijing has a key role to play in international efforts to prevent what she described as significant provocation by Pyongyang.