North Korea fired an intercontinental ballistic missile that landed near Japanese waters Friday in its second major weapons test this month that showed a potential ability to launch nuclear strikes on all of the U.S. mainland.
While it’s unclear whether North Korea possesses functioning nuclear-armed missiles, some experts say Friday’s launch involved its longest-range missile, which is still under development and is designed to carry multiple nuclear warheads to overcome U.S. missile defense systems.
North Korea’s recent torrid run of weapons tests aims to advance its nuclear arsenal and win greater concessions in future diplomacy. It comes as China and Russia have opposed U.S. moves to toughen U.N. sanctions aimed at curbing North Korea’s nuclear program.
The United States quickly condemned the launch and vowed to take “all necessary measures” to guarantee the safety of its territory and its allies South Korea and Japan.
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