US, South Korea conduct joint military drill in response to North Korea's ICBM launch
The intercontinental ballistic missile Hwasong-14 is seen during its test launch in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). Photograph: (Reuters)
The United States and South Korea on Wednesday conducted a joint military exercise “as a strong message of warning” to North Korea after it successfully launched its first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).
The live-fire training was held at the order of South Korean President Moon Jae-In, Yonhap news agency said.
The missiles deployed in the drill feature "deep strike precision capability," enabling the United States and South Korea "to engage the full array of time critical targets under all weather conditions," the US military
The UN Security Council will hold an emergency meeting today, AFP cited diplomats as saying.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres strongly condemned the launch, warning that it "constitutes a dangerous escalation of the situation".
US secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, confirmed North Korea had conducted its first test of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) and called for global action against the regime.
"The United States strongly condemns North Korea's launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile. Testing an ICBM represents a new escalation of the threat to the United States, our allies and partners, the region, and the world," Tillerson said.
"As we, along with others, have made clear, we will never accept a nuclear-armed North Korea," he added.
North’s leader Kim Jong-Un said the missile test was a 4th of July gift to “American bastards”.
North Korea's official news agency announced that the ICBM is capable of carrying a "large, heavy nuclear warhead" that can survive re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere.
The North's Academy of Defence Science, which developed the missile, said it reached an altitude of 2,802 kilometres and flew 933 kilometres, calling it the "final gate to rounding off the state nuclear force."
Some experts said such a missile could reach Alaska or go even further toward the US mainland. But there was widespread skepticism of the North's claim of the missile being able to "strike any place in the world."
(With AFP inputs)