North Korean leader Kim Jong Un paid a visit to a factory that built the tires for the huge vehicle that was used to transport a new intercontinental ballistic missile that was test-launched this week, the country's media reported Sunday.
He complimented workers for manufacturing the large-size tires for the 9-axle missile truck without relying on imported equipment and called for efforts to raise production to "satisfy the daily-increasing needs in developing the country's economy and beefing up national defense capabilities," the North's official Korean Central News Agency said Saturday.
The launch of the Hwasong-15 ICBM in violation of international sanctions was celebrated Friday with a massive public rally and fireworks in capital Pyongyang.
Kim in September tasked the Amnokgang Tire Factory to make the tires for the "great event in November," the agency reported.
South Korea's military believes that the latest missile, which flew 950 kilometers (600 miles) before splashing down in waters near Japan, is potentially capable of striking targets as far as 13,000 kilometers (8,100 miles), which would put Washington within reach.
On Wednesday, US President Donald Trump vowed to impose additional "major sanctions" against North Korea in response to its latest missile test.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson explained that the sanctions would be announced by the US Treasury and would target "additional financial institutions."
This suggests that secondary measures could target foreign banks that still deal with North Korea. A Chinese bank has already been hit in this way.
"We have a long list of additional potential sanctions," Tillerson told reporters.
Asked how long Washington could continue to mount peaceful pressure on Pyongyang without resorting to military action, Tillerson said: "Diplomatically, we keep working at it every day."
The US president has threatened North Korea with "fire and fury" if it continues to threaten the United States or its allies with work toward an ICBM capable of carrying a nuclear payload.