A man walks in front of a public TV screen broadcasting news of North Korea’s test-firing of its second intercontinental ballistic missile, in Tokyo Saturday, July 29, 2017.InternationalIndiaAfricaNorth Korea has repeatedly blasted the US and South Korea for escalating tensions in the region, taking issue with continued joint military drills that Pyongyang sees as a threat to its sovereignty. North Korea revealed on Friday that its recent launch of a Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile had been overseen by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and his daughter, who previously made an appearance at launches.State media has indicated that the Thursday test-fire was personally guided by Kim and carried out in response to the ongoing joint military drills conducted by the US and neighboring South Korea.
"[The launch was carried out] under the grave situation in which the most unstable security environment is being created in the Korean Peninsula due to the frantic, provocative and aggressive large-scale war drills conducted by the US and the South Korean puppet traitors," the Korean Central News Agency wrote.
Photos from the launch have since surfaced online showing Kim watching the event, with some images appearing to have come from a camera mounted atop the missile.Offering specifics of the ICBM launch, the outlet detailed that the long-range projectile reached a max altitude of 6,045 kilometers and flew a distance of 1,000.2 kilometers for just under 70 minutes. The projectile ultimately landed in the open waters of the Sea of Japan.
"The drill confirmed the war readiness of the ICBM unit and the exceptional militancy of the [Democratic People's Republic of Korea's] strategic forces and strictly verified their reliability," state media noted.
It was further stated that Kim had expressed “great satisfaction” after observing the test launch.North Korea’s Thursday launch came at the same time that Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol were due to hold presidential-level talks. AsiaNorth Korea Fires Long-Range Ballistic Missile Toward Sea of Japan Ahead of Yoon-Kishida Meeting15 March, 22:29 GMTIn the immediate aftermath of the test-firing, both Japan and South Korea issued a strong rebuke, with Yoon reportedly telling officials at a National Security Council meeting that North Korea would “certainly pay for reckless provocations.”