Kim Jong-un has been pictured inspecting his new ballistic missile which he claims can carry a nuclear warhead before it was test-fired on Sunday.
The dictator gave the projectile, dubbed Hwasong-12, a once-over at its launch site in the Kusong region in images published by state media.
After the launch was deemed a success, Kim was seen laughing and celebrating with officials before vowing to carry out more nuclear and missile tests.
Kim Jong-un poses next to the Hwasong-12 intermediate-range ballistic missile, which he claims is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, before its launch on Sunday
The dictator personally oversaw the Hwasong-12 test, which took place a site in the Kusong region early on Sunday (pictured, Kim speaks to officials in charge of the launch)
Kim Jong-un (pictured left as the missile is moved into position) has claimed the new projectile can range the mainland United States
The Hwasong-12 has the longest rage of any ballistic missile the North has successfully tested, with experts estimating it can fly 2,500 miles
Hwasong-12, an intermediate-range ballistic missile, has the longest range of any weapon successfully tested by Kim’s regime, with officials estimating it has a maximum range of 2,500 miles.
Kim claims the new weapon puts the United States mainland within ‘sighting range for strike’, though Los Angeles is located around 5,000miles from the launch site used on Sunday.
North Korea is attempting to develop inter-continental ballistic missiles, named Taepodong, though a successful test of one has yet to be verified.
Kim was said to have hugged officials in the field of rocket research after the launch, saying that they worked hard to achieve a great thing, state media reported.
The North fired the ballistic missile that landed in the sea near Russia on Sunday in a launch that Washington called a message to South Korea, days after its new president took office pledging to engage Pyongyang in dialogue.
According to KCNA: ‘The test-fire aimed at verifying the tactical and technological specifications of the newly developed ballistic rocket capable of carrying a large-size heavy nuclear warhead.’
‘If the U.S. awkwardly attempts to provoke the DPRK, it will not escape from the biggest disaster in the history, Kim said, strongly warning the U.S. should not to disregard or misjudge the reality that its mainland and Pacific operation region are in the DPRK’s sighting range for strike and that it has all powerful means for retaliatory strike,’ KCNA said. ……More HereClick here for reuse options!