North Korea has claimed that the rocket it test-fired on Wednesday morning is a new type of intercontinental ballistic missile [ICBM] that can strike anywhere on the United States mainland. In a special announcement broadcast on state TV, the regime said it had successfully tested a Hwasong-15, which appears to be an advanced version of ICBMs it launched in July. After watching the launch of the Hwasong-15, the North’s leader Kim Jong-un “declared with pride that now we have finally realized the great historic cause of completing the state nuclear force”, the official KCNA news agency said.
The test triggered global outrage with US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis saying it marked a significant step toward North Korea building missiles that can “threaten everywhere in the world, basically”. It landed in Japanese waters but flew higher than any other missile the North has previously tested.
Pyongyang says the missile reached an altitude of 4,475km (2,780 miles) and flew 950km in 53 minutes. The projectile, fired at a steep incline, did not fly over Japan as some have done in the past, and landed about 250km short of its northern coast, according to Japanese officials.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called it an intolerable, “violent” act and South Korean President Moon Jae-in condemned Pyongyang’s “reckless” behavior.
US President reacted in twitter that, “After North Korea missile launch, it’s more important than ever to fund our gov’t & military! Dems shouldn’t hold troop funding hostage for amnesty & illegal immigration. I ran on stopping illegal immigration and won big. They can’t now threaten a shutdown to get their demands.”