North Korea Missile Test: Expert Warns "We Should Be Worried"

North Korean soldiers stand on a boat on the Yalu River near the border with China Feb. 9 2016.              AFP

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, who was present at the latest launch, said the test was a "stern warning" to the USA, which he claimed his country was now able to strike "at any place and time".

The Pentagon said the missile flew about 2,300 miles nearly straight up before plunging into the sea off Japan about 620 miles from its launch site.

North Korea has successfully tested the re-entry component of its intercontinental ballistic missile program, according to North Korea's state news agency. North Korea usually conducts its missile and underground nuclear tests in the morning.

The ICBM, which aimed for "maximum distance", flew for 47 minutes and 12 seconds while reaching a maximum altitude of 3,724.9 km, the North said.

"North Korea has the clear intention to develop a nuclear armed intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching the United States and, therefore, capable of reaching Australia", Bishop said.

He assured that the US will take all necessary steps to ensure the security of the American homeland and protect its allies in the region.

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"Yesterday, Congress took action to impose additional sanctions on North Korea that I expect President Trump will now sign without delay".

Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis said in a statement, "The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) determined the missile launch from North Korea did not pose a threat to North America".

"The ATACMS can be rapidly deployed and engaged and provides deep-strike precision capability, enabling the ROK-U.S. alliance to engage a full array of time-critical targets under all weather conditions".

A week after the first test, the US put its missile defense system through a successful dry run that shot down a high-altitude mock target. "China is opposed to North Korea's launch activities in violation of UN Security Council resolutions and against the will of the worldwide community".

Wright, however, said the mass of the payload that the missile carried on the test was not known.

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