The intercontinental ballistic missile Hwasong-14 is seen in this undated photo released by KCNA
The intercontinental ballistic missile Hwasong-14 is seen in this undated photo released by KCNAReuters

North Korea said Friday it has successfully test-launched a new intercontinental ballistic missile powered by solid propellants, The Associated Press reported, citing North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

The announcement came a day after the country's neighbors detected a launch of a long-range missile from near Pyongyang.

KCNA said the launch was supervised on site by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who described the missile - named Hwasong-18 - as the most powerful weapon of his nuclear forces that would enhance its counterattack abilities in the face of external threats created by the military activities of the United States and its regional allies.

Kim pledged to further expand his nuclear arsenal so that his rivals "suffer from extreme anxiety and fear while facing an insurmountable threat, and be plunged into regrets and despair over their decisions."

Kim also said that the Hwasong-18 would rapidly advance North Korea’s nuclear response posture and further support an aggressive military strategy that vows to maintain "nuke for nuke and an all-out confrontation for an all-out confrontation" against its rivals.

North Korea has upped its rhetoric in recent weeks, amid joint US-South Korea military drills which have angered the North.

Last week, it tested a new nuclear underwater attack drone and also fired cruise missiles during a weapon test and firing drill.

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

Kim in late March called for the scaling up of the production of weapons-grade nuclear materials to increase the country's nuclear arsenal, saying it should be fully ready to use the weapons at any time.