North Korea on Monday claimed its new strategic intercontinental ballistic missile dubbed Hwasong-12 test-fired on Sunday proved mastery in its re-entry expertise - the final stage in ballistic missile technology - and capabilities of stably targeting the U.S. territory,
The North`s official KCNA news agency said the ballistic missile fired on Sunday reached targeted altitude of 2,115 kilometers (1,312 miles) and flew 787 kilometers (489 miles) before dropping to the East Sea.
The features matched assessment of the new missile by international experts. Given the unusually high altitude, the missile would have been fired at high trajectory. Experts believe the missile could have flown from 4,000km to 5,000km when launched at standard trajectory.
The KCNA said the test launch verified the homing feature of the warhead that allowed it to survive under an extreme re-entry situation before detonation, suggesting it tested its atmospheric re-entry technology for an ICBM.
It claimed the test proved the missile’s guidance and stabilization systems and capability to carry large-size heavy nuclear warhead.
The KCNA quoted the North`s leader Kim Jong-un, overseeing the missile test, as warning that the U.S. "should not to disregard the reality that its mainland and the Pacific operation region are in the DPRK`s range for strike."
It is the first time that Pyongyang unveiled the name of its new missile, which was first unveiled in the military parade marking the birthday of North Korea’s founder Kim Il-sung in April.
South Korea’s military authorities however expressed doubts about the North’s mastery over the atmospheric re-entry technology.
By Ahn Doo-won
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