North Korea claimed Wednesday it has now completed a “state nuclear force” capable of attacking anywhere in the United States.
The reclusive nation made the announcement as it celebrated the success of a intercontinental ballistic missile test earlier Tuesday.
The projectile flew 960 kilometers into open water, according to South Korea’s military, although experts believe the missile could have been launched as far as 13,000 kilometers had it not been fired at such a steep angle.
In what Pyongyang described as an “important” announcement, its state-run KCNA news agency said the test involved a Hwasong-15, capable of carrying out a nuclear strike on “the whole mainland of the US“.
The launch came after more than two months without a North Korean nuclear or missile test, but the country tested a pair of Hwasong-14s in July and it has repeatedly ignored global efforts to deter such “provocations” through sanctions.
However, Pyongyang insisted in Wednesday’s announcement that it will “make every possible effort to serve the noble purpose of defending peace and stability of the world”.
North Korea often justifies its development of nuclear weapons as a measure aimed at countering alleged American aggression.