The missile on Friday travelled 3,700 kilometres as it passed over the Japanese island of Hokkaido before landing in the northern Pacific Ocean. It was the country’s longest-ever test flight of a ballistic missile.
The North’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) carried his comments a day after US and South Korean militaries detected the missile launch from the North Korean capital of Pyongyang.
The KCNA said the leader expressed great satisfaction over the launch, which he said verified the “combat efficiency and reliability” of the missile and the success of efforts to increase its power.
North Korea’s latest ballistic missile test has renewed discussion at the highest levels of the Trump administration about how military force could be used to stop Kim Jong Un’s development of nuclear warheads and ballistic missiles.
“There is a military option,” White House national security adviser H.R. McMaster told reporters.
UN Ambassador Nikki Haley acknowledged that if sanctions and diplomatic pressure don’t work, the UN may not be able to do much more.
One senior US official says the problem right now in relying on a deterrence theory is “no one knows” what would actually deter the North Korean leader.
The accepted theory in the military and intelligence community is Kim’s top priority is his own preservation and that of his family.