In the latest instalment of ‘My Nuclear Warhead Is Bigger Than Yours’, North Korea has yet another announcement.
News from Pyongyang confirms what we thought Kim Jong-un had been bragging about for months, North Korea have declared they’ve achieved its long-held goal of becoming a nuclear power.
The dictatorial power had successfully tested a new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) with a range covering all of the US mainland.
An anchor of the country’s propaganda news station read:
After watching the successful launch of the new type ICBM Hwasong-15, Kim Jong-un declared with pride that now we have finally realised the great historic cause of completing the state nuclear force, the cause of building a rocket power.
In the statement, North Korea described itself as a ‘responsible nuclear power’, saying its strategic weapons were developed to defend itself from ‘the US imperialist nuclear blackmail policy and nuclear threat‘.
North Korea said the new powerful missile reached an altitude of around 4,475 km (2,780 miles) – more than 10 times the height of the international space station – and flew 950 km (600 miles) during its 53 minute flight.
Based on its trajectory and distance, the missile, Hwasong-15, would have a range of more than 13,000 km (8,100 miles), which is more than enough to reach Washington DC, the US-based Union of Concerned Scientists said.
However, it was unclear how heavy a payload the missile was carrying and it was uncertain if it could carry a large nuclear warhead that far, the nonprofit science advocacy group added.
It comes a week after US President, Donald Trump, placed North Korea back on a list of countries the US officially claims support terrorism.
The move was set out to allow the US, along with the UN, to impose further sanctions on Kim Jong-un’s dictatorial regime.
US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis told reporters at the White House:
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.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson added, ‘diplomatic options remain viable and open, for now’, and further suggesting more international maritime security, reports the Independent.
The UN Security Council was scheduled to meet on Wednesday to discuss the launch, which Secretary-General Antonio Guterres strongly condemned, according to his spokesperson, who dubbed recent actions ‘a clear violation of Security Council resolutions’ adding they showed ‘complete disregard for the united view of the international community’.
Hardly surprising given Kim Jong-un’s track record:
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President Trump has been in talks with North Korea’s neighbouring leaders, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Moon Jae-in and told reporters, ‘it is a situation that we will handle’.
Last week, North Korea denounced Trump’s decision to relist it as a state sponsor of terrorism, calling it a ‘serious provocation and violent infringement’.
Who knew playground tactics and politicians with nuclear power didn’t mix?