North Korea Claims First Successful ICBM Test

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – North Korea is claiming to have test-launched its first intercontinental ballistic missile.

North Korea says its latest missile test reached a height of 2,802 kilometers (1,740 miles) and flew 933 kilometers (580 miles) for 39 minutes before falling into the sea.

The Hawaii-based U.S. Pacific Command said in a statement it tracked a North Korean missile for 37 minutes before it landed in the Sea of Japan. NORAD, or the North American Aerospace Defense Command, said the missile did not pose a threat to North America. The Defense Department says it is working to confirm the initial reporting.

Japan’s government spokesman says it is still studying North Korea’s claim. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said the missile landed about 300 kilometers (500 miles) off Oga Peninsula on Japan’s northwestern coast.

The launch appeared to be North Korea’s most successful missile test yet as it works to develop a nuclear-tipped missile that could reach the United States. A U.S. scientist examining its height and distance said it could be powerful enough to reach Alaska.

President Donald Trump criticized North Korean leader Kim Jong Un after the launch, asking, “Does this guy have anything better to do with his life?”

Trump said on Twitter that it’s “Hard to believe that South Korea … and Japan will put up with this much longer.”

And he urges North Korea’s biggest ally, China, to “put a heavy move on North Korea and end this nonsense once and for all!”

Shortly before Trump’s tweets, the White House said he had been briefed on the situation.

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(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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