North Korean leader Kim Jong Un considers Wednesday’s test firing of a submarine-based ballistic missile the “greatest success and victory,” the country’s state-run news agency reported.
“He (Kim Jong Un) noted with pride that the results of the test-fire proved in actuality that the DPRK joined the front rank of the military powers fully equipped with nuclear attack capability,” the Korean Central News Agency said Thursday.
North Korea’s launch took place in the waters off Sinpo, South Hamgyong Province. Amid the annual joint military exercise between the United States and South Korea, which kicked off on Monday, KNCA quoted Kim as saying the US mainland and its “operational theater in the Pacific” are now within North Korea’s “striking range.”
He warned the US and South Korea to refrain from “hurting the dignity and security of North Korea” if it wants to avoid deadly strikes.
The South Korean military said earlier that North Korea fired a missile that flew 500 kilometers before falling into the waters of Sea of Japan, also known as the East Sea. This was the first time a North Korean missile entered Japan’s air defense identification zone, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said.