N. Korea orders new ICBM, nuclear arsenal amid tension

STORY: North Korea marked the start of the new year with several weapons tests.

The latest after a year that saw an unprecedented number of them by Pyongyang as it presses ahead on its weapons development, while experts speculate it could be on the verge of a fresh nuclear test.

On Saturday (December 31) state media broadcast a "handover ceremony" of multiple rocket launchers that included leader Kim Jong Un - hardware he said could strike anywhere in South Korea.

The North’s state media quoted Kim saying his country needed to secure “overwhelming military power.”

And to develop another intercontinental ballistic missile system “whose main mission is quick nuclear counter-strike".

Kim accused Washington and Seoul of trying to "isolate and stifle" Pyongyang with U.S. nuclear strike assets constantly deployed in South Korea, calling it "unprecedented in human history."

Ties between the Koreas have long been tense.

But have grown even worse since the South’s President Yoon Suk-yeol took office.

Sunday’s events come after a week of ratcheted-up tension with the South.

A recent incursion of five North Korean drones has reignited debate about the South’s air defenses.

And officials say Yoon ordered the military to send its own drones into the North in response, quote, “even if that means escalation.”