Experts have long suggested that North Korea intends to develop a thermonuclear bomb that can reach hold targets in the US mainland at risk as a deterrent, for possible diplomatic concessions, and now, to prove wrong a tweet from President Donald Trump.
A statement from North Korean state media on Monday directly addressed a Trump tweet from December, when he posted that an intercontinental ballistic missile from North Korea “won’t happen!“
“The DPRK is about 10,400 km far away from New York. But this is just not a long distance for its strike today,” read a statement from North Korean media, hinting it has ICBM capability.
“Trump blustered early this year that the DPRK’s final access to a nuclear weapon that can reach the US mainland will never happen. But the strategic weapons tests conducted by the DPRK clearly proved that the time of its ICBM test is not a long way off at all,” read the North Korean statement, directly referencing Trump’s December tweet.
North Korean media often spreads propaganda and inflated claims about their weapons’ capabilities. However, several experts who spoke to Business Insider have said the country could test an ICBM by the end of the year.
The US successfully tested a ballistic-missile defence system meant to intercept a nuclear attack from North Korea in June, but it did so in conditions short of an actual combat situation.
Meanwhile, the US and international community haven’t succeeded in curtailing Kim Jong Un’s regime, which now tests on a nearly weekly basis.
Under increased pressure from the US and China, the sole North Korean concession of the past year has been its hesitation on testing another nuclear device.
Increasingly, after North Korean military provocations, Trump has looked to China, as Beijing is responsible for 90% of North Korea’s outside trade and could collapse its economy in a matter of days.