Wide Spread Jubilation As North Korea Successfully Fires Longer Range ICBM Towards Japan

After two months of relative quiet North Korea ahas launched its most powerful intercontinental ballistic missile, claiming it puts the entire US mainland in range of its nuclear weapons.

The latest test, which was the highest and longest any North Korean missile had flown, came a week after Donald Trump put North Korea back on a US list of countries it says support terrorism, allowing it to impose more sanctions.

In a government statement released through state media, North Korea said the Hwasong-15 (Mars-15), the “greatest ICBM,” could be armed with a “super-large heavy nuclear warhead” and reached a height of 4,475km (2,780 miles), travelling 950km (590 miles) before accurately hitting a sea target near Japan, similar to the flight data announced by South Korea’s military.

Also from Reuters, some more information on where and when the missile was launched:
North Korea launched the missile from Pyongsong, South Pyongan Province, about 30km (18 miles) north of its capital, Pyongyang, the first time a missile was fired from this location.
Unlike many other tests that historically occur in the early mornings, the launch occurred in the middle of the night in Korea, at around 2:28am North Korea’s local time (6:17pm GMT).
The location and timing are likely a reflection of Pyongyang’s continuing efforts to test weapons from anywhere and at any time, providing more realistic tests and making it more difficult for other countries to predict and possibly intercept a launch.
“The test is unusual in that it was conducted in the dead of night, perhaps reflecting North Korean concerns about avoiding a U.S. ballistic missile defence intercept,” the US-based Centre for Strategic and International Studies said.
The previous two ICBM tests in July were launched from Panghyon airfield in North Pyongan Province, and in Mupyong-ni, Chagang Province, respectively.
Other, shorter range missiles have been launched from a variety of locations as well, including at least two intermediate-range ballistic missiles that flew over Japanese airspace in August and September.
The last of those missiles was launched at Sunan, just north of Pyongyang, from a “transporter erector launcher,” a road-mobile vehicle that can make it more difficult to track and target missiles before they are launched.
“After watching the successful launch of the new type ICBM Hwasong-15, Kim Jong-un declared with pride that now we have finally realized the great historic cause of completing the state nuclear force, the cause of building a rocket power,” according to a statement read by a television presenter.

North Korea described itself as a “responsible nuclear power”, saying its strategic weapons were developed to defend itself from “the US imperialists’ nuclear blackmail policy and nuclear threat”.

South Korea responded almost immediately by launching three of its own missiles in a show of force.

Moon Jae-in, the South’s President, expressed his worry the North’s missile threat could force the United States to attack before it masters a nuclear-tipped long-range missile.

“If North Korea completes a ballistic missile that could reach from one continent to another, the situation can spiral out of control,” Mr Moon said at an emergency meeting in Seoul, according to his office. “We must stop a situation where North Korea miscalculates and threatens us with nuclear weapons or where the United States considers a pre-emptive strike.”

 Donald Trump says ‘we will take care of it’ after North Korea fires missile

In response to the launch, Mr Trump said the United States will “take care of it.” The US President told reporters: “It is a situation that we will handle.” He did not elaborate.

The UN Security Council scheduled an emergency meeting for Wednesday afternoon at the request of Japan, the US and South Korea.

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