North Korea has fired its highest-ever intercontinental ballistic missile and poses a worldwide threat, US Secretary of Defence James Mattis has said.
The Pentagon said it believed the projectile was an ICBM that travelled roughly 1,000 km (620 miles) eastward before plunging into the Sea of Japan. The Japanese Defence Ministry believe the missile remained airborne for 50 minutes and likely landed in the waters of the country’s exclusive economic zone.
South Korean news agency Yonhap said the missile was launched from Pyongsong, in South Pyongan province.
US scientist David Wright said that based on initial reports on the altitude and duration of the test, it appeared to be North Korea’s longest-range test yet. If flown on a standard trajectory rather than at a lofted angle, the missile would have a range of more than 13,000 kilometers (8,100 miles), said Wright, a physicist at the Union for Concerned Scientists.
President Trump was briefed while the missile was still in the air, the White House said. Afterwards he said: “We will take care of it.”