Following speculations on a suspected ballistic missile launch that landed near Japan earlier that day, North Korea confirmed its “monster” intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) during a fire test last Friday.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un oversaw the latest ICBM test on November 18 and has pledged to counter any threats with its own nuclear weapons, state media Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported.


Hwasong-17, the biggest ICBM in the North Korean missile arsenal, was unveiled in public in October 2020 during the 75th anniversary of the founding of the Worker’s Party of Korea parade and marked its maiden flight earlier this year. It is a two-stage, liquid-fueled, and road-mobile ICBM with an estimated diameter of approximately 2.5 meters and a total mass of around 80,000 to 10,000 kg when fully fueled, according to a factsheet article by Reuters.

While the exact capabilities of the massive ICBM are yet to be revealed, experts speculated that it is powerful enough to reach cities within the US and potentially evade its existing missile defense systems. It is also said to be equipped with multiple independent reentry vehicles (MIRV) technology, allowing the isolated country to “fire one missile and attack multiple different targets.”