Pyongyang (July 30, 2017): The North Korean leader Kim Jong-un claimed that ‘the whole United States mainland’ was within their reach after test-firing the regimes second intercontinental ballistic missile within a month.
Kim Jong-un called Pyongyang’s weapons program ‘a precious asset’ that cannot be reversed or replaced, according state-run Korean Central News Agency.
North Korea tested an intercontinental ballistic missile Friday that appears to have the range to hit major US cities, experts say, and prompted a fresh round of condemnation from the United States, China, Japan and South Korea.
If the missile were fired on a flatter, standard trajectory, it would have major US cities such as Los Angeles, Denver and Chicago well within its range, with the possible ability to reach as far as New York and Boston, according to David Wright, a missile expert at the Union of Concerned Scientists.
United States President Donald Trump condemned the missile launch and said the United States would act to ensure its security.
“Threatening the world, these weapons and tests further isolate North Korea, weaken its economy and deprive its people,” Trump said in a written statement. “The United States will take all necessary steps to ensure the security of the American homeland and protect our allies in the region.”
Pyongyang’s state-run Korean Central News Agency said Saturday that the latest missile launch was a Hwasong-14, the same missile tested earlier this month.
Friday’s test was designed to show the Hwasong-14’s maximum range with a “large-sized heavy nuclear warhead,” it said, adding that Washington should regard the launch as a “grave warning.”
North Koreans hailed the test-firing, the news agency said. Kim Yu Chol, a researcher at the State Academy of Sciences, called the achievement “another great victory which dealt a heavy blow to the US imperialists and its vassal forces.” Jo Son Hyang, a resident of Pyongyang’s Rangnang District, said the “future of the country is bright” now that it has a “powerful sword for keeping peace.”
Pyongyang has carried out 12 missile tests since February and conducted its first test of an ICBM on July 4 — which it says could reach “anywhere in the world.”