North Korea has declared that it can test-launch an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) at any time from any location. If true, and given the country’s successful nuclear tests, in theory, it could put a nuclear warhead on a U.S city.
Leader Kim Jung Un, blamed hostile U.S foreign policy on its development.
A spokesman said, “The U.S. is wholly to blame for pushing [North Korea] to have developed an ICBM as it has desperately resorted to anachronistic policy hostile toward [North Korea] for decades to encroach upon its sovereignty and vital rights.
“Anyone who wants to deal with [North Korea] would be well advised to secure a new way of thinking after having clear understanding of it,”
The development has been taken seriously in the U.S, where Defence Secretary Ash Carter said that it constituted a “serious threat” to the U.S. He added they would shoot down any North Korean missile launch or test that was deemed as a threat to the U.S or its allies.
He said, “We only would shoot them down … if it was threatening, that is, if it were coming toward our territory or the territory of our friends and allies.”
According to the U.S, North Korea has shown it has the capability to develop missiles and nuclear warheads. The country carried out a number of tests last year.
The country has been testing heat shields and rocket engines for an ICBM, and testing guidance systems. Experts believe a fully functional ICBM is quite a long way off.
South Korea, however, have said there is no sign of any launch preparations. Defense Ministry spokesman, Moon Sang-gyun, however, did say North Korea’s announcement was a “provocative announcement” and at a news briefing declared that North Korea would face stronger sanctions should they launch a missile.
The country has been under U.N sanctions since 2006 in relation to developing nuclear weaponry.