“With this system, we can load the heaviest warhead and strike anywhere in the mainland United States.”
On Wednesday, North Korea conducted a missile test for the first time since September. It was later revealed that this test included an intercontinental ballistic missile (IBM) called a Hwasong-15 that could reach the U.S. mainland. From The Wall Street Journal:
Hours after the launch, dictator Kim Jong Un declared that Pyongyang had “finally realized the great historic cause of completing the state nuclear force,” according to the state-run Korean Central News Agency. North Korea said the missile was fired from a mobile launch system, and that Mr. Kim personally oversaw the test.
From The Washington Post:
“With this system, we can load the heaviest warhead and strike anywhere in the mainland United States,” North Korea’s most famous newsreader, Ri Chun Hee, said in a special live broadcast on state television. “This missile is far more technologically advanced than July’s Hwasong-14. This signifies that our rocket development process has been completed.”
Kim Jong Un, the North Korean leader, had personally authorized the launch, Ri said, a photo of Kim at his desk and the handwritten order appearing on the screen.
The missile reached “a height of 2,796 miles and traveled 596 miles, demonstrating the potential to reach a range of 8,100 miles.” Physicist David wright said that the missile “would put any part of the U.S. comfortably within reach of a North Korean missile strike.”
Unlike the last two tests, North Korea didn’t shoot this one over Japan. Instead, it landed in the waters between North Korea and Japan “after flying on a lofted trajectory that took it deep into space before reentering the earth’s atmosphere.”
After the launch, China criticized North Korea, but asked other countries “to refrain from measures that would exacerbate tensions.” Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang didn’t really respond to a question about more sanctions, but promised that the country will “uphold the principles of stability and peace on the Korean Peninsula.”
President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping about the launch. From Reuters:
U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday said additional major sanctions would be imposed on North Korea after Pyongyang said it had tested a new intercontinental ballistic missile and that its nuclear weapons could reach the U.S. mainland.
“Just spoke to President Xi Jinping of China concerning the provocative actions of North Korea. Additional major sanctions will be imposed on North Korea today. This situation will be handled!” Trump wrote in a post on Twitter. He gave no other details about the sanctions.
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