November 30, 2017 09:13
North Korea on Wednesday boasted that the intercontinental ballistic missile it launched into the East Sea in the small hours can strike "all of the U.S."
In a statement read on state TV, the regime said it successfully tested a Hwasong-15 ICBM. "Now we have finally realized the great historic cause of completing the state nuclear force, the cause of building a rocket power," it quoted leader Kim Jong-un as saying.
The missile, fired at a steep angle, reached an altitude of 4,475 km. Scientists said if it had been launched on a normal trajectory, it would have flown about 13,000 km, which would bring the entire U.S. mainland within range.
The missile's flight speed and drop velocity were the fastest so far. The North said it carried a "super-large heavy warhead."
The missile was fired from open terrain in Pyongsong, South Pyongan Province, around 30 km north of Pyongyang. It flew for about 53 minutes and fell into the East Sea within Japan's exclusive economic zone.
But some other experts said it may have been carrying a dummy warhead that was much lighter than a real one to extend the range.
Military authorities here speculate that the Hwasong-15 is an improved version of the Hwasong-14 fired in July.
Meanwhile, President Moon Jae-in chaired an emergency session of the National Security Council at Cheong Wa Dae that morning. "Peace is impossible on the Korean Peninsula unless the North stops its provocative military adventurism," Moon said.
He talked with his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump on the phone for about 20 minutes. The two leaders denounced the North for launching another long-range missile despite the concerted international action through strong sanctions and pressure, Cheong Wa Dae said.
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