Photo Credit: YouTube screen capture / ABC News
North Korean 'Hwasong-14' intercontinental ballistic missile launched from the northwest corner of the country.

Pyongyang launched an intercontinental ballistic missile overnight Tuesday, raising tensions in the region and abroad even higher. The missile that was launched was a Hwasong-14, according to KCNA, which said it traveled 934 kilometers (580 miles) before landing in the Sea of Japan. U.S. and South Korean military officials said the missile was launched into a high trajectory of 2,802 kilometers (1,741 miles) in altitude, with a flight time of 39 minutes from an airfield in Kusong in northwestern North Korea, a site used in the past for test launches. The Tokyo government said the missile landed within its exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un said in a statement quoted by the country’s KCNA news agency that Tuesday’s test launch verified the success of the missile’s two-step stage separation, atmospheric re-entry of the warhead and late-stage control of the warhead.

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Analysts quoted by Reuters said the flight details “suggested the new missile had a range of more than 8,000 kilometers (4,970 miles), which would put significant parts of the U.S. mainland in range, representing major advances in its program.”

In response, the United States and South Korea carried out a shoreline missile firing drill in a blunt warning to North Korea.

The U.S. military released a video of the drill that ran Tuesday evening across the United States on nearly all American national cable and public television newscasts.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson strongly condemned the Pyongyang launch via social media in a statement, calling it a “new escalation of the threat to the United States, our allies and partners, the region and the world.

“Global action is required to stop a global threat,” the Secretary said in his statement. “Any country that hosts North Korean guest workers, provides any economic or military benefits, or fails to fully implement UN Security Council resolutions is aiding and abetting a dangerous regime. All nations should publicly demonstrate to North Korea that there are consequences to their pursuit of nuclear weapons. We intend to bring North Korea’s provocative action before the UN Security Council and enact stronger measures to hold the DPRK accountable. The United States seeks only the peaceful denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and the end of threatening actions by North Korea. As we, along with others, have made clear, we will never accept a nuclear-armed North Korea.”

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, called for an emergency session of the Security Council, which will take place 3 pm EDT Wednesday afternoon. “A short time ago, Ambassador Nikki Haley and her counterparts from Japan and the Republic of Korea requested an emergency UN Security Council meeting to be held in the open chamber in response to North Korea’s intercontinental ballistic missile launch,” the Mission said in a statement Tuesday evening.

This marks the 11th missile launch by North Korea this year, with the most recent having been a barrage of anti-ship missiles launched on June 8.

On May 29, Pyongyang fired a Scud-type ballistic missile, one that flew approximately 450 kilometers (280 miles) before dropping into the Sea of Japan, also known as the East Sea. At that time, Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga slammed the launch, calling it “highly problematic from the perspective of the safety of shipping and air traffic, and … a clear violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions.”

North Korea maintains strong diplomatic ties with Iran, and the two have been working together on weapons and nuclear technology. Iran has repeatedly vowed to “wipe [the Jewish State] off the map.”

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