North Korea says it has successfully tested a new type of intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that can reach the whole of continental United States.
State television said Pyongyang had achieved its mission of becoming a nuclear state.
The Hwasong-15 missile, described as its “most powerful”, was launched in darkness early on Wednesday.
It landed in Japanese waters but flew higher than any other missile the North had previously tested.
The test, which defied international sanctions imposed over the North’s weapons programme, drew swift international condemnation, with the UN Security Council due to convene an emergency session.
South Korea responded by carrying out live-fire exercises, launching one of its own ballistic missiles.
News of the launch was announced on state television in a special broadcast at midday, as well as in a report released by state news agency KCNA.
Pyongyang says the missile reached an altitude of 4,475km (2,780 miles) and flew 950km in 53 minutes, close to independent estimates made by South Korea’s military.
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.
North Korea has previously said that its projectiles can hit the US but this marks the first time it says it can do it with this new type of missile, which appears to be an upgraded version of previous models.
KCNA added that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, who personally signed off on the launch, “declared with pride that now we have finally realised the great historic cause of completing the state nuclear force, the cause of building a rocket power”.
The report said that “as a responsible nuclear power and a peace-loving state”, North Korea would “make every possible effort to serve the noble purpose of defending peace and stability of the world”.
It said its weapons, meant as a defence against “the US imperialists’ nuclear blackmail policy”, would “not pose any threat to any country” as long as North Korean interests were not infringed upon.
“This is our solemn declaration.”
An analysis by the US-based Union of Concerned Scientists concludes that the missile could have travelled more than 13,000km on a standard trajectory, thus reaching “any part of the continental United States”.
But it seems likely, the analysis adds, that the missile had a very light mock warhead, meaning it might lack the power to carry a nuclear payload, which is much heavier, over that distance.
French President Macron hit with egg during restaurant fair visit
Unidentified gunmen kill 34 people in northwest Nigeria
US President Biden to get COVID-19 vaccine booster shot later Monday: White House
SPD narrowly wins German election against Merkel’s CDU
Alberta’s former top doctor calls for more action on COVID-19
Europe1 week ago
Volcano erupts on Spain’s Atlantic island of La Palma; lava theatens homes
Australia & NZ1 week ago
Melbourne police use capsicum spray on Australian lockdown protesters
Australia & NZ1 week ago
Mother charged with murdering her three daughters in New Zealand
U.S1 week ago
Top U.S. doctors say not so fast to Biden’s boosters-for-all plan
Entertainment1 week ago
Chris Rock says he has COVID-19, urges vaccination
Sport1 week ago
UK boxer Amir Khan kicked off US flight for COVID-19 mask rule violation
Africa1 week ago
Houthi execution of nine civilians, including minor, a terrorist crime: Yemen ministe
Lifestyle1 week ago
Winnie the Pooh’s tree house for rent at this ‘Bearbnb’