(National Sentinel)Â Defense:Â U.S. military and intelligence officials are “monitoring” North Korea after a missile test over the weekend involving an ICBM Pyongyang says can carry a nuclear warhead and reach the United States.
As reported byÂ Fox News:
One day after Kim Jong Unâ€™s dictatorship reported a successful test flight of its KN-17 missile, state-run news agency KCNA reported the â€œU.S. mainland and Pacific operationsâ€ were in range of North Korean weapons.Â The agency also claimed its missile was meant to verify the specifications of a new ballistic rocket â€œcapable of carrying a large-size heavy nuclear warhead.â€
â€œWe are monitoring,â€ a National Security Council spokeswoman told Fox News.Â
U.S. officials have been skeptical that the North has mastered the capability of mounting a nuclear weapon atop a missile, but clearly the day that Pyongyang overcomes that technical hurdle is fast approaching.
The Pentagon noted that the missile fired over the weekend - which landed just 60 miles fromÂ Russian shores - flew four minutes longer than any missile fired previously by North Korea. The test indicates that Pyongyang has taken “a step forward” in its missile program.
Some experts believe the KN-17 is the North’s best opportunity to build a nuclear-capable ICBM.