North Korean leader Kim Jong-un claimed Saturday that the country’s nuclear weapons program was nearing completion.
According to state-run media outlet Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), Kim stated that the United States had failed to deter North Korea’s progress while attending the launch of yesterday’s Hwasong-12 intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) that overflew Japan.
“We should clearly show the big power chauvinists how our state attain the goal of completing its nuclear force despite their limitless sanctions and blockade,” Kim said, while stressing “the need to put an end to them with the all-state efforts as it has nearly reached the terminal.”
A finalized nuclear program, Kim asserted, would create a military “equilibrium” between Pyongyang and the United States.
“Our final goal is to establish the equilibrium of real force with the U.S. and make the U.S. rulers dare not talk about military option,” Kim said.
Friday’s Hwasong-12, which flew 3,700km and reached an altitude of 770 km, was the second ballistic missile launched over Japan in less than a month. Experts say the range proved North Korea’s ability to reach the U.S. territory of Guam.
The launch came in response to sanctions passed by the United Nations Security Council over North Korea’s test of an alleged hydrogen bomb.