North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has promised to have more nuclear weapons manufactured, while personally honoring scientists who contributed significantly to the test-launch of Pyongyang’s most advanced intercontinental ballistic missile, dubbed Hwasong-15.
Scientists and workers will continue to develop and produce more of the "latest weapons and equipment" to "bolster up the nuclear force in quality and quantity," said Kim Jong-un, as cited by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).
"Those in the field of defense science who most faithfully and perfectly carried out the Party’s plan for building strategic nuclear force, successfully test-fired the ICBM Hwasong-15 and thus demonstrated the dignity and might of our powerful state all over the world once again," he said.
They were awarded medals, including the highest orders in North Korea, the Order of Kim Il-sung and Order of Kim Jong-il.
Pyongyang conducted a test-launch of the Hwasong-15, which had reportedly failed, in November, although the new ICBM is believed to have the potential to strike the US. Following the test, US Envoy to the UN Nikki Haley called on all nations to cut off all ties with the rogue state; the international community has already applied sanctions.
The US has repeatedly conducted joint military drills alongside South Korea and Japan in a bid to "send a message" to North Korea. President Trump has threatened to unleash "fire and fury" and "totally destroy" the hermetic nation.