N Korea prepared for new ICBM test: state media




Missiles are taken on trucks past a stand with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during the parade celebrating the 70th anniversary of the founding of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea, in Pyongyang October 10, 2015. Isolated North Korea marked the 70th anniversary of its ruling Workers' Party on Saturday with a massive military parade overseen by leader Kim Jong Un, who said his country was ready to fight any war waged by the United States. REUTERS/James Pearson - RTS3VD3

Seoul: North Korea warned today it was prepared to launch intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) at any time, as the US successfully tested a system designed to intercept them.

The fresh sabre-rattling from Pyongyang appeared to up the stakes as the Pentagon announced Tuesday it had intercepted a mock-up of an ICMB in a first-of-its-kind test.

The success of the test is a watershed moment for the US military’s effort to establish an effective — though limited — ground-based defence against ICBMs as the North ramps up its threats.

“We’re prepared to test-fire ICMBs anywhere and anytime on orders from the supreme commander (Kim Jong-Un)”, the Rodong Sinmun paper said in the article entitled: “No one can stop the nuclear power state, rocketry master in the East”.

The paper added: “The United States must know our declaration that we can turn the devils’ den into ashes with nuclear weapons is not an empty threat.”

Concern among the international community over the North’s weapons programme was further raised after North Korea test-fired yet another ballistic missile, the latest in a series of launches that have ratcheted up tensions over Pyongyang’s quest to develop weapons capable of hitting the United States.

It was the third missile test by the nuclear-armed regime in less than three weeks, defying UN sanctions warnings and US threats of possible military action.

Early this month, it test-fired what appeared to be its longest-range ballistic missile yet tested in a bid to bring the US mainland within reach.

The North has carried out two atomic tests and dozens of missile launches since the beginning of last year in its quest to develop a missile capable of delivering a nuclear warhead to the continental United States — something President Donald Trump has vowed “won’t happen”.

—ANI