North Korea claims to have successfully tested a new type of intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), dubbed Hwasong-15, which is capable of striking the U.S. mainland. on Tuesday, Nov. 28.
The country’s state news agency KCNA made the announcement Wednesday, hours after leader Kim Jong Un ordered the 3 a.m. launch of the missile, which reached the highest altitude ever recorded by a North Korean missile.
KCNA called the missile “the most powerful ICBM” and said it “meets the goal of the completion of the rocket weaponry system development set by the DPRK,” or the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
The Hwasong-15, soared some 4,500 kilometers (2,800 miles) in the sky, flew 950km spending 53 minutes in the air, before splashing down in waters around 210 kilometers (130 miles) west of Japan’s Aomori prefecture, according to authorities in Japan and South Korea.
On a normal trajectory, rather than a high lofted one, the missile would have a range of 13,000 km, enough to reach Washington, the rest of the U.S. west coast, Europe or Australia.
This was North Korea’s 20th launch of a ballistic missile this year, and possibly its third successful test of an intercontinental ballistic missile following two launches in July. The missile flew higher and for a longer duration than two previous launches, which flew for 37 minutes on July 4 and for 47 minutes on July 28.
Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe, condemned the missile launch as “intolerable” and called for an emergency meeting of the UN security council.