DPRK has conducted its first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) test in five months, launching a new solid-fueled weapon that can potentially reach the entire US mainland. The launch took place on Monday morning from the Sohae Satellite Launching Station, and was confirmed by South Korea, Japan, and the US.
The missile, dubbed the Hwasong-16, flew for about 30 minutes and reached an altitude of over 4,000 km, before landing in the Sea of Japan. According to experts, this indicates that the missile has a range of at least 10,000 km, enough to cover the whole US territory. The missile is also believed to be more mobile and reliable than the previous liquid-fueled ICBMs, such as the Hwasong-14 and Hwasong-15, that DPRK tested in 2017.
DPRK defended its right to self-defense and said that the test was a response to the US and South Korean moves to enhance their nuclear deterrence capabilities. Pyongyang also claimed that it had successfully tested a new type of nuclear warhead that can be mounted on the Hwasong-16, although this has not been verified by independent sources.