North Korea launches 'ballistic missile', capable of striking anywhere in US

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Pns: Donald Trump has vowed to "take care of it" after North Korea claimed to have successfully tested a new intercontinental ballistic missile that it said was capable of striking any target in the United States.

The missile, launched early on Wednesday, landed in Japanese waters.

The US President was briefed while the missile was in the air, the White House said, and later declared: “It is a situation that we will handle."

The announcement of the new "Hwasong-15" missile, made in a special broadcast at noon local time on Wednesday, came hours after a long-range missile was fired into waters off Japan in what was believed to be its longest-range test yet.

It reached an altitude of 4,500km (2,800 miles) and flew 960km, according to South Korea's military.

It was the latest in a series of weapons tests that has raised tensions. Pyongyang last launched a ballistic missile in September.

It also conducted its sixth nuclear test that month. North Korea has continued to develop its nuclear and missile programme despite global condemnation and sanctions.

The UN Security Council is due to convene an emergency session to discuss the latest test.

Mr Mattis said the missile launch "went higher, frankly, than any previous shots they have taken".

The North was building "ballistic missiles that threaten everywhere in the world", he added.

US President Donald Trump was briefed while the missile was still in the air, the White House said. Afterwards he said: "We will take care of it."

The US-based Union of Concerned Scientists said the missile could have travelled more than 13,000km on a standard trajectory, thus reaching "any part of the continental United States".

But it added it seemed likely that the missile had a very light mock warhead - which meant that it would be incapable of carrying a nuclear warhead, which is much heavier, for that distance.

Source: Agencies

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