North Korea Getting Ready To Go Ballistic… Preps Test Of ICBM
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has revealed on Sunday that the isolated, nuclear-capable country will very soon be able to test-launch an intercontinental ballistic missile, or ICBM.
North Korea tested ballistic missiles at a constant rate during 2016, although some experts have said they are still years away from processing an ICBM fitted with a nuclear warhead capable of reaching the United States.
In a televised speech given on New Year’s day, Kim said:
“Research and development of cutting edge arms equipment is actively progressing and ICBM rocket test launch preparation is in its last stage”
The country has been on the brunt end of U.N. sanctions since 2006 over its nuclear and ballistic missile tests. The sanctions were increased last month after Pyongyang shot off its fifth and largest nuclear test on Sept. 9.
An ICBM test launch that goes off without a problem would mark a world-shaking step forward for the isolationist Pyongyang’s weapons capabilities. ICBMs have a minimum range of about 5,500 km (3,418 miles), but still there are others that can travel up to 10,000 km (6,214 miles) or further. California is roughly 9,000 km (5,592 miles) away form North Korea and could very well be a likely target.
However, North Korea has endeavored to deploy its not so successful intermediate-range Musudan ballistic missile, which only worked one out of eight attempted launches last year.
U.S. State Department spokeswoman Anna Richey-Allen on Sunday called out North Korea and demanded that they “refrain from provocative actions and inflammatory rhetoric that threaten international peace and stability, and to make the strategic choice to fulfill its international obligations and commitments and return to serious talks.”
She continued: “All states to use every available channel and means of influence to make clear to the DPRK and its enablers that launches using ballistic missile technology are unacceptable, and take steps to show there are consequences to the DPRK’s unlawful conduct.”
North Korea’s Musudan Missle is designed to fly about 3,000 km (1,860 miles), posing a threat to South Korea and Japan, and also the U.S. territory of Guam.
South Korea’s Defence Ministry declined to comment on whether they believed this posed an imminent threat.