North Korea has tested two new missiles that were intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) systems, which Pyongyang had first showcased at a military parade in October 2020, the Pentagon said.
While neither launch displayed ICBM range or capability, they were intended “to evaluate this new system before conducting a test at full range in the future, potentially disguised as a space launch,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said.
Kirby added that though Washington “remains committed to a diplomatic approach,” it “will take all necessary measures to ensure the security of the United States and our allies.”
A senior US official also said that the latest tests were a “serious escalation,” and the Treasury would announce new measures on Friday to help prevent Pyongyang from accessing “foreign items and technology” to advance the program.
Meanwhile, North Korea has said that the recent missile tests were focused on developing a reconnaissance satellite.
However, the Pentagon said rigorous analysis concluded they were experimental precursors to a likely full-range ICBM launch.
In November 2017, the North carried out three ICBM tests of a Hwasong-15, deemed powerful enough to reach Washington and the rest of the continental United States.
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