Conflicts & War

Kim Jong-un inspects factory producing missile launch vehicles

Seoul, Jan 5 (EFE).- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un visited a factory producing mobile launchers for intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM), state media KCNA reported Friday.

Images from the visit to the factory, believed to be located in Pyongsong (on the outskirts of the North Korean capital), show a dozen Transporter Erector Launchers (TEL) for the Hwasong-17 and Hwasong-18 ICBMs.

With these missiles, Pyongyang is considered to have achieved the capacity to strike almost anywhere on Earth, with the exception of southern South America.

Kim was accompanied by his sister, Kim Yo-jong; the director of the Industrial Department of Munitions, Jo Chun-ryong; Politburo Presidium member Jo Yong-won; and the head of the Propaganda Department, Ri Il-hwan, according to KCNA.

Kim’s daughter – believed to be 11 years old -, whom Seoul sees as a possible candidate for succession in Pyongyang, was also part of the visit.

KCNA did not specify the date of the visit but reported that Kim’s inspection was in accordance with the proposals of last week’s plenary meeting of the central committee.

During the visit, he was briefed on the details of TEL production.

Kim stressed the need to develop more short and long-range missiles and increase TEL manufacturing.

After the failure of denuclearization talks with Washington in 2019, Pyongyang approved its military modernization plan.

Moreover, it rejected the possibility of fresh dialogue with the United States, and instead opted for greater rapprochement with Beijing and Moscow, and also supplied weapons to them.

The White House on Thursday said Russia has used short-range missiles supplied by North Korea in the Ukraine war.

Meanwhile, Seoul and Washington have reinforced military cooperation with Tokyo and strengthened their deterrence mechanism by increasing their joint maneuvers and deploying more US strategic assets on the peninsula. EFE

asb/up/sc

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