Kim Jong Un
Kim Jong Un KCNA/via REUTERS

North Korea likely has "more in store" after successfully test-firing its largest-ever intercontinental ballistic missile this week, a top US official said Friday, according to AFP.

North Korea confirmed on Friday it test fired its "new type" of intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) Hwasong-17.

The country’s leader, Kim Jong Un, who directly guided the test, said that the "new strategic weapon of the DPRK would make the whole world clearly aware of the power of our strategic armed forces once again."

"He stressed that our national defense forces would possess formidable military and technical capabilities unperturbed by any military threat and blackmail and keep themselves fully ready for long-standing confrontation with the US imperialists."

Thursday's launch was the first time Pyongyang has fired Kim Jong Un's most powerful missiles at full range since 2017.

"We see this as part of a pattern of testing and provocation from North Korea... we think there is likely more in store," White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told reporters travelling on board Air Force One with President Joe Biden.

The missile appears to have travelled higher and further than any previous ICBM tested by the nuclear-armed country -- including one designed to strike anywhere on the US mainland.

North Korea has conducted several tests of reconnaissance satellite systems in recent weeks, most recently last week when it failed to launch an unidentified projectile.

A senior US official said recently that two recent missile tests conducted by North Korea were of a new ICBM system.

The official added that those tests marked a "serious escalation" by Pyongyang that will be punished with fresh sanctions.

Kim had claimed that the purpose of the reconnaissance satellite is to provide real-time information on military actions by the United States and its allies.

The latest tests add to tensions between the US and North Korea which have resumed since the Biden administration took office.

Former US President Donald Trump tried to reach an agreement with North Korea while in office. Kim and Trump met in Hanoi in 2019 for a summit that left nuclear talks at a standstill.

The pair had met three times since June 2018 but made little progress towards denuclearization.

The Biden administration reached out to North Korea shortly after taking office, but the country did not respond to those overtures.

In Biden’s first policy speech to Congress, he said nuclear programs in North Korea and Iran posed threats that would be addressed through “diplomacy and stern deterrence”.

Responding to that speech, North Korea dismissed the idea of talks with Washington, saying Biden’s speech was “intolerable” and “a big blunder."

(Israel National News' North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Israel National News articles, however, is Israeli time.)