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North Korea Says It Has Completed Its Nuclear Force

Nov. 29, 2017 (EIRNS)—Within a couple of hours of the launch, yesterday, assessments from the United States and South Korea were that North Korea had tested an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). Yesterday’s test, the first since Sept. 15, was the longest-and highest-flying test carried out by North Korea so far. North Korea said the new missile reached an altitude of around 4,475 kilometers (2,780 miles) and flew 950 km (590 miles) during its 53-minute flight, reported Reuters.

"After watching the successful launch of the new type ICBM Hwasong-15, Kim Jong Un declared with pride that now we have finally realized the great historic cause of completing the state nuclear force, the cause of building a rocket power,"

according to a statement read by a North Korean television presenter. North Korea described itself as a "responsible nuclear power", saying its strategic weapons were developed to defend itself from "the U.S. imperialists’ nuclear blackmail policy and nuclear threat." The Defense Department statement, issued about two hours after the launch, agreed that it was, indeed, an ICBM.

"Initial assessment indicates that this missile was an intercontinental ballistic missile," said Pentagon spokesman Col. Rob Manning.

While the expected condemnations of this latest North Korean test were made, there was no flight forward reaction from the Trump Administration. President Trump, himself, reportedly said after the launch, that it does not change the U.S. approach to North Korea.

"I will only tell you that we will take care of it," he said, adding, "It is a situation that we will handle."

Today, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said that additional U.S. sanctions would come very soon and would add "maximum pressure" on North Korea. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that "Diplomatic options remain viable and open, for now." In Tokyo, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe ordered an emergency meeting of Cabinet ministers following the launch, while the South Korean military responded by delivering a "precision strike" on practice targets. The difference between this and earlier such exercises, is that the South Koreans appeared to have been primed and ready to go before the North Korean launch. The UN Security Council was to have met today to discuss the launch.