North Korea Says It Can Destroy the U.S. With Its New Hwasong-15 Missile and 'Super-large Heavy Warhead'

A man walks past a street monitor showing North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un in a news report about North Korea's missile launch, in Tokyo, Japan, November 29, 2017. Reuters

North Korea announced a new intercontinental ballistic missile named the Hwasong-15 Tuesday that puts all of the U.S. within range. Its "super-large heavy warhead" was launched under orders of North Korea supreme leader Kim Jong Un, according to North Korean media reports.

"Kim Jong Un, Supreme Leader of our Party, state and army, gave an autographic order to test-fire the newly developed inter-continental ballistic rocket Hwasong-15 on Nov. 28, Juche 106," the Korean Central News Agency, the state news agency of North Korea, announced according to a translation of the broadcast from the Wall Street Journal. The missile flew for around 620 miles for about 53 minutes before landing in the Sea of Japan.

A presenter makes a special announcement on North Korea's state-run television after the country launched a missile, in this still image taken from a video released by KRT, November 29, 2017. Reuters

The missile is the latest achievement for North Korea's growing nuclear development program. The Hwasong-14 was previously named as North Korea's furthest-reaching intercontinental ballistic missile. It could travel about 10,400km, meaning it is able to strike Latin America, parts of Africa and Antarctica. North Korea last tested a missile in September, when it sent its Hwasong-12 missile about 3,700km over Japan.

North Korea likely has 60 nuclear weapons, enough uranium to make six new nuclear bombs every year and even a hydrogen bomb, which is estimated to be 1,000 times more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, during World War II. North Korea saw its first successful nuclear test in 2006.

President Donald Trump has threatened military action against North Korea, but offered few details when asked about the launch on Tuesday. "It is a situation that we will handle. We will take care of it," he said.

Defense Secretary James Mattis said the launch showed North Korea is a serious threat. "It went higher frankly than any previous shot they've taken, a research and development effort on their part to continue building ballistic missiles that can threaten everywhere in the world, basically," he told reporters at the White House.

It's unclear how the U.S. will respond. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Tuesday that "diplomatic options remain viable and open, for now," adding, "The United States remains committed to finding a peaceful path to denuclearization and to ending belligerent actions by North Korea."