NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — North Korea says it successfully launched a new powerful intercontinental-ballistic missile believed to be capable of reaching the U.S. mainland.
An emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council will be held Wednesday afternoon to further discuss the situation.
The intercontinental ballistic missile was fired from North Korea’s capital, Pyongyang, and was in the air for 50 minutes, reaching more than 2,300 miles into space before landing in the Sea of Japan.
President Donald Trump said Wednesday he has spoken with Chinese leader Xi Jinping about the latest missile test.
“Just spoke to President XI JINPING of China concerning the provocative actions of North Korea,” Trump said on Twitter. “Additional major sanctions will be imposed on North Korea today. This situation will be handled!”
Pentagon officials called it a serious threat.
“Endangers world peace, regional peace and certainly the United States,” said Secretary of Defense James Mattis said Tuesday at the White House shortly after the weapon was launched. “It went higher, frankly, than any other previous shots they’ve taken. It’s a research and development effort on their part.”
According to David Wright from the Union of Concerned Scientists, if the missile had been fired at a standard trajectory, it could have traveled more than 8,000 miles, reaching any part of the U.S.
In a statement, the North Korean government said its new missile was being developed to “defend the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country from the U.S. imperialists’ nuclear blackmail policy and nuclear threat.”
Trump was briefed on the missile launch while it was still in the air.
“I will only tell you that we will take care of it,” he said.
On Tuesday, officials in Hawaii unveiled a statewide missile warning system as a preemptive step of precaution.
In response to North Korea’s launch, South Korea fired pinpoint missiles into the water as a warning to the North.
The launch comes on the heels of Trump putting North Korea back on the list of state sponsors of terrorism and imposing new sanctions against the nation.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is also calling for stricter enforcement of U.N. sanctions against North Korea.