North Korea has claimed that the rocket it test-fired on November 29 morning is a new type of intercontinental ballistic missile that can strike anywhere on the US mainland, as it declared itself a “complete” nuclear state.
The missile was reported to have flown for 50 minutes on a very high trajectory, reaching 2,796 miles (4,500km) above the earth, before coming down nearly 621 miles from the launch site off the west coast of Japan. South Korea made a test-launch of its own in response
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.
The leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un, was quoted as saying: “Now we have finally realised the great historic cause of completing the state nuclear force, the cause of building a rocket power.”
Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe, condemned the missile launch as “intolerable” and called for an emergency meeting of the UN security council. Within hours of the test, Abe and Donald Trump agreed to strengthen their defence capability and to urge China – North Korea’s main ally – to apply more pressure on Pyongyang over its weapons programme.
It is the first North Korean ballistic missile test since September 15.