North Korea boasted gleefully Wednesday after achieving its goal of being able to incinerate any city on the U.S. mainland following the previous night’s successful test of a new intercontinental ballistic missile.
The order to launch the Hwasong-15, the fifth new ballistic missile system the regime has tested in 2017, was reportedly given by Kim Jong un: “Fire it bravely for the Party and the motherland!”
“The ICBM Hwasong-15 type weaponry system is an intercontinental ballistic rocket tipped with super-large heavy warhead which is capable of striking the whole mainland of the U.S,” a statement by the regime said.
That claim was backed up by independent analysis by the Union of Concerned Scientists, which said the rocket could have traveled more than 8,000 miles on a standard trajectory, putting targets like the White House and Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home within range.
Kim Jong Un “declared with pride” that North Korea is now a nuclear state, adding that the latest test “had no adverse effect on the security of neighboring countries.”
The missile, which was launched near the capital Pyongyang, flew for 53 minutes and reached a height of 2,780 miles, landing in Japanese waters 600 miles from its origin.
The U.S. State Department said the launch indicates Pyongyang is “not showing that they are serious about having conversations.”
South Korean President Moon Jae In and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said in a joint statement they would seek additional UN sanctions following the test, saying they can “no longer tolerate North Korea’s threats to security.”
Pyongyang said that as “a peace-loving state” it would “make every possible effort to serve the noble purpose of defending peace and stability of the world.”
State-run news agency KCNA responded to Donald Trump’s tweet about the importance of funding the military, blasting the “reckless increase of military expenditure” and calling the U.S. “a belligerent country of military gangsters and a cancer-like one against mankind.”