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North Korea leader says missile test a success, threat to US

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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has hailed the successful test of a powerful new medium-range missile, saying it poses a direct threat to US military bases in the Pacific, state media reported Thursday.

[SEOUL] North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has hailed the successful test of a powerful new medium-range missile, saying it poses a direct threat to US military bases in the Pacific, state media reported Thursday.

Kim, who personally monitored Wednesday's Musudan missile test, said it was a "great event" that significantly bolstered the North's pre-emptive nuclear attack capability, the official KCNA news agency reported.

"We have the sure capability to attack in an overall and practical way the Americans in the Pacific operation theatre," Kim was quoted as saying.

The Musudan - also known as the Hwasong-10 - has a theoretical range of anywhere between 2,500 and 4,000km.

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The lower estimate covers the whole of South Korea and Japan, while the upper range would include US military bases on Guam.

After a string of failures in recent months, North Korea tested two Musudans on Wednesday, one of which flew 400km into the Sea of Japan (East Sea).

KCNA said the missile had been fired at a high angle to simulate its full range and had reached a maximum height of more than 1,400km.

"It provided a sure sci-tech guarantee for developing the system of strategic weapons," the agency said.

"The test-fire was successfully conducted without giving any slightest effect to the security of surrounding countries."

AFP

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