North Korea said its dictator Kim Jong Un was present Tuesday for a flight test of a midrange ballistic missile designed to carry a nuclear payload that flew over U.S. ally Japan and splashed into the northern Pacific Ocean.
The leader of the Hermit Kingdom has called for more ballistic missile launches into the Pacific — an apparent threat to the U.S. territory of Guam and a possible precursor to more missiles flying over Japan.
Kim expressed great satisfaction over what the North described as successful testing and said his country would continue to watch “U.S. demeanors” before it decided on future actions. He called the launch a “meaningful prelude” to containing Guam, which is home to key U.S. military bases that North Korea finds threatening, and said the country needs to conduct more missile launches into the Pacific to advance the capabilities of its strategic force, according to Pyongyang’s official Korean Central News Agency.
The agency said Wednesday that the missile fired over Japan on Tuesday was the Hwasong-12 intermediate-range missile that the North recently threatened to fire into waters near Guam.
South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the missile traveled around 1,677 miles and reached a maximum height of 341 miles as it flew over the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido.
The U.N. Security Council said it “strongly condemns” North Korea’s launch of the…