South Korean Defense Minister Han Min-koo confirmed North Korea launched a missile Sunday which was large enough to carry a nuclear warhead and with the range to possibly deliver that warhead against targets on the mainland United States. This development is faster than many analysts had predicted for the North to acquire such a capability.
“It is considered an intermediate range ballistic missile of enhanced caliber compared to Musudan missiles that have continually failed,” he said, reported Reuters.
For its part, North Korea declared the test was to see if the missile could carry a large nuclear warhead, including a re-entry vehicle. Of course this is propaganda. The North also said that it has the capability to deliver a strong “retaliatory strike,” and that all U.S. targets in the Pacific were ‘in its sights.’
“The test-fire aimed at verifying the tactical and technological specifications of the newly developed ballistic rocket capable of carrying a large-size heavy nuclear warhead,” KCNA, the North Korean news agency said.
“The DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] will bolster its self-defense capabilities as long as the United States continues its hostile policies toward the DPRK and imposes nuclear threats and makes blackmail,” declared North Korean diplomat Ju Yong Choi at a U.N. conference in Geneva.
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