STORY: Kim Jong Un said North Korea is working towards becoming the world's most powerful nuclear force.
State media reported the leader’s announcement on Sunday.
It came as he promoted dozens of military officers involved in the November 18 launch of the new Hwasong-17, the country’s largest intercontinental ballistic missile to date.
State TV KRT released pictures of Kim and his daughter posing for photos with the military officials, scientists, engineers and others involved in the test.
In his order promoting the officers, Kim said building up the country’s nuclear force would “reliably protect the dignity and sovereignty of the state and the people”.
Adding that the country’s "ultimate goal is to possess the world's most powerful strategic force, the absolute force unprecedented in the century."
Kim also praised the scientists as having made a “wonderful leap forward” in developing the technology of mounting nuclear warheads on ballistic missiles.
In an another report, state news agency KCNA said the Hwasong-17 “clearly proved” that North Korea is “a full-fledged nuclear power capable of standing against the nuclear supremacy of the U.S. imperialists.”
With the Hwasong-17 able to reach the United States mainland, the earlier test launch prompted Washington to urge the United Nations Security Council to hold Pyongyang accountable for its missile tests.
Such tests are banned by Security Council resolutions.