July 06, 2020 12:09
North Korea's state media on Saturday celebrated the third anniversary of the test launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile.
The North did not mark the first and second anniversaries while it was engaged in negotiations with the U.S. but seems to have decided to draw more attention to itself this year as U.S. President Donald Trump seems to be ignoring it.
The official Rodong Sinmun daily covered its front page as well as inside pages with articles focusing on the missile, lauding the test launch as a "momentous event in national history" and a "revolutionary event that changed the status" of North Korea.
It blamed the "barbaric economic sanctions of the enemy forces" for its development of the missile, dubbed Hwasong-14, but to "defend the dignity and destiny of the people" while "delivering a strong strike against the enemy forces."
North Korea test-fired the Hwasong-14 on July 4, 2017, which is also U.S. Independence Day. At the time, it claimed to have become a "proud nuclear power possessing both nuclear weapons and mighty ICBMs that can strike anywhere on earth."
The U.S. Forces Korea said last year that the Hwasong-14 has a maximum range of 10,000 km, which places parts of the U.S. mainland within reach.
Cho Han-bum at the Korea Institute for National Unification said the celebrations constitute an "indirect pressure warning that the North can launch a new ICBM at any time, crossing the 'red line' set by the U.S. should it refuse to yield."
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