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Kim Jong Un hails latest North Korean missile test as a 'gift' to 'American bastards

This picture, released by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency, shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (middle) celebrating the successful test-fire Tuesday of the intercontinental ballistic missile Hwasong-14 at an undisclosed location. South Korea and the United States fired off missiles on July 5 simulating a precision strike against North Korea's leadership, in response to a landmark ICBM test described by Kim Jong Un as a gift to "American bastards." (Getty Images)

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un celebrated his nation's reported test of an intercontinental ballistic missile Tuesday as a "gift" to "American bastards" on U.S. Independence Day, a Hermit Kingdom state-run news agency said.

The Telegraph reported Wednesday that, according to state-run Korean Central News Agency, Kim personally oversaw the test of a missile that is reportedly capable of carrying a "large, heavy nuclear warhead" all the way to Alaska.

This missile test was hailed as a direct response to President Donald Trump, who said that a North Korean missile reaching American soil "won't happen."

"American bastards would be not very happy with this gift sent on the July 4 anniversary," Kim reportedly said.

Kim laughed and "added that we should send them gifts once in a while to help break their boredom," according to KCNA, the Telegraph reported.

The missile was said to be a Hwasong-14, capable of escaping and re-entering Earth's atmosphere. KCNA reported that Kim inspected the missile himself and "expressed satisfaction, saying it looked as handsome as a good-looking boy and was well made."

The missile reportedly traveled 580 miles for 39 minutes, and reached an altitude of 2,802 km. This has "all the technological requirements including heat resistance and structural stability of the re-entry nose cone."

"That's it. It's an ICBM," tweeted arms control specialist Jeffrey Lewis, commenting on the missile's achieved altitude. "An ICBM that can hit Anchorage not San Francisco, but still," Lewis added.

"That range would not be enough to reach the lower 48 states or the large islands of Hawaii, but would allow it to reach all of Alaska," David Wright, co-director of the Global Security Program, said, noting that the missiles standard flight range is roughly 6,700 km.

The Japanese government reports that the missile landed in Japan's Exclusive Economic Zone, noting a clear violation of U.N. resolutions.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the tests "represents a new escalation of the threat to the United States, our allies and partners, the region, and the world," and added that the U.S. "will never accept a nuclear-armed North Korea."

In late June, national security adviser H.R. McMaster said that the White House was developing new strategies to deal with North Korea, including military options. As the White House makes these plans, the U.S. military has been building its forces in the Korean peninsula, as well as putting on displays of strength, including flying two supersonic bombers over the Korean peninsula.

According to the New York Times, Gen. Vincent K. Brooks, the top U.S. general in South Korea, said that the only thing stopping war between U.S./South Korean joint forces and North Korea is "self restraint." The Wall Street Journal reported that Brooks' statement was the U.S. telling "North Korea it is prepared to go to war."

Meanwhile, North Korea has been utilizing low technology drones that U.S. and South Korean officials suspect are spying on U.S. anti-missile defense systems near the South Korean border. One crashed drone was discovered by chance in a remote South Korean forest containing pictures of the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system just 180 miles southeast of Seoul.

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