Vastavam web: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said today his country had achieved full nuclear statehood after successfully testing a new missile capable of hitting anywhere in the United States.The intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) launch snapped a two-month pause in testing by the North and poses a new challenge to US President Donald Trump who has vowed such a capability “won’t happen”.”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,” she said.
“The great success in the test-fire of ICBM Hwasong-15 is a priceless victory won by the great and heroic people of the DPRK,” she said, using the official abbreviated name for North Korea.”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 US,” the official news agency KCNA said.Pyongyang said the missile reached an altitude of 4,475 kilometres (2,800 miles) and had splashed down 950 kilometres from its launch site.Trump, who recently announced fresh sanctions on Pyongyang and returned it to a US list of state sponsors of terror, was opaque in his immediate response, as the UN Security Council agreed to meet in emergency session.
“I will only tell you that we will take care of it,” Trump said at the White House. “It is a situation that we will handle,” he added, without elaborating.US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, stressed that diplomatic options to resolving the crisis remained “viable and open.” It was the first missile test of any kind since September 15, and quashed speculation that the North may have held back in order to open the door to a negotiated solution to the nuclear standoff.
US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said it marked a significant step toward North Korea building missiles that can “threaten everywhere in the world, basically.” Trump insisted there would be no change to his administration’s “maximum pressure campaign” which has sought to curb Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons programme with tightened sanctions backed by dire warnings of massive retaliation in the event of any attack.While Pyongyang has yet to prove its mastery of the re- entry technology required to bring a warhead back through the Earth’s atmosphere, experts believe it is at least on the threshold of developing a working intercontinental nuclear strike capability.
“We don’t have to like it, but we’re going to have to learn to live with North Korea’s ability to target the United States with nuclear weapons,” said Jeffrey Lewis, head of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program at the Middlebury Institute of Strategic Studies.Tensions over the North’s weapons programme peaked after Pyongyang conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test in September and then fired an intermediate-range missile over Japan.Washington has rejected that approach, and last week unveiled new sanctions targeting North Korean shipping, as well a number of Chinese companies doing business with the pariah state.But the North responded defiantly, vowing to continue building up its nuclear force and warning that sanctions would never succeed.