A photo released by the official North Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) shows the test-firing of a Hwasong-18 solid-fuel intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), at an undisclosed location in North Korea, 12 July 2023 EFE-EPA/KCNA EDITORIAL USE ONLY

North Korea to mark Hwasong-17 launch anniversary as ‘Missile Industry Day’

Seoul, Nov 5 (EFE).- North Korea has officially designated Nov. 18 as “Missile Industry Day” to commemorate the anniversary of its launch of the Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) last year.

The decision to recognize Nov.18 as a national holiday was reached during a meeting of the presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly, the state-run Korea Central News Agency (KCNA) said on Sunday.

On Nov.18, 2022, North Korea successfully launched the Hwasong-17 ICBM, with Kim Jong-un asserting that the missile underscored the country’s possession of a formidable and reliable capability to counter nuclear threats.

KCNA said the day was designated “missile industry day” because it displayed “the might of a world-class nuclear power and the strongest ICBM possessor was demonstrated to the whole world.”

The Hwasong-17 ICBM covered a distance of nearly 1,000 km and reached a maximum altitude of 6,040 km on its test launch, as reported by North Korean media.

Experts estimate that the missile has a range of more than 15,000 km, can carry multiple warheads, and is the largest transportable liquid-fueled ballistic missile worldwide.

However, due to its size, the missile carries significant challenges when it comes to refueling and transportation. It must be moved to the launch site and then fueled, a lengthy operation that exposes it to preemptive attacks.

The missile’s considerable weight and mobile transporter render it impossible to traverse less stable terrains, which is a concern in North Korea, where only a few roads are well-paved.

North Korea’s announcement regarding the commemoration of the date coincides with South Korean intelligence reports suggesting that Pyongyang is preparing for a new launch of a spy satellite via a space rocket, following two unsuccessful attempts earlier this year. EFE