North Korea said that it has successfully tested a powerful new intercontinental ballistic Missile (ICBM) that put the entire United States mainland within range of its nuclear weapons, Reuters reports. The missile test was first since mid-September. It comes a few days after President Donald Trump put North Korea on the list of countries that support terrorism.
The test was the highest and longest any North Korean missile had flown. The missile landed in the sea near Japan. According to Pyongyang, the missile reached an altitude of around 2,780 miles and that is more than ten times the height of the International Space Station. North Korea also said that the missile flew 590 miles during the 53-minute flight.
“After watching the successful launch of the new type ICBM Hwasong-15, Kim Jong-un declared with pride that now we have finally realized the great historic cause of completing the state nuclear force, the cause of building a rocket power,” said the statement read by a TV presenter.
Pyongyang says that it is a responsible nuclear power and that the strategic weapons it has were developed to defend itself from the U.S. imperialists’ nuclear blackmail policy and nuclear threat. According to the Pentagon, the test was not a threat for the States.
“It went higher, frankly, than any previous shot they’ve taken, a research and development effort on their part to continue building ballistic missiles that can threaten everywhere in the world, basically,” U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said.
North Korea said that the new Hwasong-15 was an advanced version of an ICBM tested two times in July. According to the U.S.-based Union of Concerned Scientists, based on the trajectory and distance, the missile would have a range of more than eight thousand miles. That would be more than enough to reach Washington D.S. and other parts of the United States. Hwasong-15 is designed to carry a super large heavy warhead, but it is not certain if it could carry a large nuclear warhead that far.
According to Newsweek, North Korea likely has 60 nuclear weapons, enough uranium to make six new nuclear bombs every year and even a hydrogen bomb, which is estimated to be 1,000 times more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, during World War II.