Kim Jong Un

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said on Sunday his country's ultimate goal is to possess the world's most powerful nuclear force, Reuters reported, citing state media.

Building the nuclear force is for reliably protecting the dignity and sovereignty of the state and the people, and "its ultimate goal is to possess the world's most powerful strategic force, the absolute force unprecedented in the century," Kim said in the order promoting the officers.

He called the Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), a test of which he recently inspected, the "world's strongest strategic weapon" and said it demonstrated North Korea's resolve and ability to eventually build the world's strongest army.

North Korean scientists have made a "wonderful leap forward in the development of the technology of mounting nuclear warheads on ballistic missiles," Kim said, without elaborating.

North Korea has upped the volume of its ballistic missile tests in recent months. The country has tested dozens of ballistic weapons in 2022, including its first intercontinental ballistic missiles since 2017.

At the end of October, North and South Korea exchanged warning shots along their disputed western sea boundary.

The North has also upped its rhetoric against its southern neighbor. Just last week, Kim Yo Jong, sister of the North Korean leader, described South Korea’s president and government as "idiots" and a "faithful dog" of the United States.