North Korea has claimed to have successfully test fired a new ballistic missile which state-run media says is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, according to Yonhap News Agency in South Korea.
The Korean Central News Agency, the state news agency of North Korea, reported that a Pukguksong-2, an intermediate-range missile, was successfully test launched Sunday under North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s supervision. Kim said the Pukguksong-2 gives the country additional means to deliver nuclear weapons.
North Korean missile test may have been big step forward. https://t.co/mbBryQGJNm
— The Associated Press (@AP) February 13, 2017
South Korea’s military said the missile flew some 500 kilometers (310 miles) into the sea, Yonhap reported.
The U.S. Strategic Command said it detected and tracked what it evaluated was a medium- or intermediate-range ballistic missile test launched by North Korea near the northwestern city of Kusong. The command added that the missile did not pose a threat to North America, according to the Associated Press.
The United States, Japan and South Korea have all requested an urgent meeting of the U.N. Security Council regarding Sunday’s ballistic missile launch in North Korea. The meeting is expected to take place Monday, a spokesman for the U.S. Mission to the United Nations told the Associated Press.
North Korea’s latest ballistic missile launch follows Kim’s warning in his New Year’s address on state television that his country was finalizing preparations to test its first intercontinental ballistic missile, which could attack the U.S. mainland.
North Korea says it has successfully tested five nuclear devices since 2006, two of which were detonated last year. Sunday’s test-firing in North Korea is the first since Donald Trump became president of the United States on Jan. 20, according to Yonhap News Agency.
Open Doors USA, a nonprofit organization supported persecuted Christians around the globe, has repeatedly ranked North Korea as the most oppressive place in the world for Christians on its “World Watch List.” The country has a small community of Christians, but it is a secular state where public display of religion is discouraged.
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