“Kim Jong Un declared with pride that now we have finally realized the great historic cause of completing the state nuclear force,” state media KCNA reported, after North Korea Tuesday successfully tested a new intercontinental ballistic missile capable of striking anywhere in the United States. The new Hwasong-15 missile flew around 590 miles and reached an altitude of 2,781 miles before splashing down 53 minutes later within Japan’s exclusive economic zone, which extends 200 miles from the coast. Pyongyang said the new weapon would defend the North against the “US imperialists’ nuclear blackmail policy and nuclear threat.”
South Korea responded immediately by firing three of its own missiles in a show of force. US President Donald Trump responded: “It is a situation that we will handle. We will take care of it,” he said and went on to confer with Japanese and South Korean leaders. An emergency meeting of the UN Security Council was scheduled for later Wednesday.