Pyongyang, May 15: North Korea has said that a missile it tested on Sunday is capable of carrying a large nuclear warhead, state media reported on Monday.
The country’s leader, Kim Jong-un, supervised the launch of the Hwasong-12 missile that reached an altitude of 2,111.5 km and flew 787 km, according to state news agency KC.
The test was “aimed at verifying the tactical and technological specifications of the newly developed ballistic rocket capable of carrying a large-size heavy nuclear warhead”, CNN quoted KC as saying.
North Korea warned Washington not to provoke it, saying the “US mainland and Pacific operations” are within range of Pyongyang missiles.
KC said the test showed North Korea “has all powerful means for retaliatory strike” should Washington take any military action to stop its nuclear weapons program.
Alysts called this North Korea’s most successful missile test ever and a significant advancement in its quest to build a nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), reports CNN.
“North Korea’s latest successful missile test represents a level of performance never before seen from a North Korean missile,” aerospace engineer John Schilling wrote on the blog 38 North, published by the US Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University.
US officials said the missile launched near the city of Kusong, in western North Korea, flew across the country and into the Sea of Japan or the East Sea, hitting the water about 60 miles from Vladivostok in eastern Russia.
Russia, however, said the missile fell 500 km from its coast.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday condemned the test as “dangerous” but warned against “intimidating” Pyongyang.
Speaking in Beijing on the sidelines of the Belt and Road Forum, Putin called for a peaceful solution to the ongoing tensions on the Korean peninsula, Russia’s Sputnik news agency reported. (IANS)