North Korea says its latest missile was a success and that it has nuclear capability
North Korean officials said Monday that the latest launch of a missile was successfully completed, detailing that it is a new medium-long-range ball-and-socket ballistic missile capable of carrying nuclear warheads.
According to information provided by the North Korean state news agency, KCNA, the country’s leader, Kim Jong Un, oversaw the launch of the missile, a Hwasong-12.
“This is a perfect system, consistent with the strategic and tactical military idea of the Korean Labor Party,” the North Korean president said.
The agency noted that the launch “was carried out with the greatest possible angle, in consideration of the security of neighboring countries,” adding that it was carried out “to verify tactical and technological specificities of the new missile.”
“The missile accurately reached open waters 787 kilometers away, after reaching a maximum altitude of 2,111.5 kilometers,” said the KCNA.
Kim said that the launch “is a demonstration of the high level of science and technology of the country at the defensive level,” adding that “it is of great importance to ensure peace and stability in the Korean peninsula and in the region.”
He said that the country “is a nuclear power that deserves that name, whether recognized or not,” reiterating that Pyongyang “will continue its strict control of those involved in nuclear blackmail,” in an accusation directed against South Korea and U.S.
“The United States has massively moved strategic nuclear assets to the outskirts of the Korean peninsula to threaten and blackmail North Korea, but this military swagger only works against weak nations that do not have nuclear weapons,” he argued.
He warned that “if the United States tries to provoke North Korea, it will not escape the biggest disaster in its history,” urging Washington “not to misjudge reality in its operations in the region.”
The government of Kim Jong Un has carried out several nuclear and ballistic tests in recent years that have revived tension in the Korean peninsula. In response, US President Donald Trump has ended the era of “strategic patience” and has even threatened military intervention.
North Korea justifies its nuclear and military escalation because of the need to defend itself against what it considers to be provocative movements in South Korea and the United States.
The two Koreas are still technically at war because they only signed an armistice to cease hostilities indefinitely after confronting between 1950 and 1953.