North Korea launches its 11th missile of 2017, analysts believe this one could reach Alaska
After the device landed in Japanese waters, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the move ‘clearly shows that the threat has grown’.
North Korea on Tuesday said it had successfully tested a new intercontinental ballistic missile, capable of hitting any target in the world, reported Bloomberg.
The missile was fired at its highest angle, reached an altitude of 2,800 km (1,740 miles) and hit its target precisely after flying for 39 minutes, North Korea’s state television announced. The test was overseen by leader Kim-Jong Un, a female announcer said in a special announcement on state Korean Central Television.
Earlier, the United States had said that North Korea had fired an intermediate-range ballistic missile that had landed in Japanese waters, BBC reported. According to the South Korea’s military, the missile was launched from Panghyon in North Pyongan province and travelled more than 930 km.
Public Affairs Officer of Japan’s Ministry of Defence Takahiro Hirano said the projectile may have landed in Japan’s Exclusive Economic Zone, which extends 200 nautical miles from its coastline.
Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said the missile flew “for about 40 minutes”, which is an unusually long flight time, with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe telling reporters: “This launch clearly shows that the threat has grown.”
The rocket could bring Alaska within the range of North Korea’s devices, said analysts, according to AFP.
Tuesday’s test brings the count of North Korea’s missile launches this year to eleven. The launch coincided with the American Independence Day.
The action triggered a Twitter outburst from United States President Donald Trump. “North Korea has just launched another missile. Does this guy have anything better to do with his life?” he wrote, referring to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
“Hard to believe that South Korea and Japan will put up with this much longer. Perhaps China will put a heavy move on North Korea and end this nonsense once and for all!” Trump wrote in another tweet.
Earlier missile tests
Earlier, the United Nations had imposed multiple sets of sanctions on Pyongyang over its weapons programmes. However, North Korea claimed that it needed nuclear arms to defend itself against the threat of invasion.
On May 14, the reclusive country had fired another ballistic missile into the Sea of Japan. The missile had flown for half an hour and reached an unusually high altitude – indicating that it may be a new type of weapon – before landing in the sea, the militaries of South Korea, Japan and the US had said.
With North Korea stepping up its show of military might in the past few months, countries around the world are concerned that warfare might break out with two volatile leaders at the helm of two major nuclear powers – Kim and Trump.