The North Korean media reported that a medium range Ballistic Missile tested by the country’s army is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead. The reports are unconfirmed and may stem from propaganda designed to create panic around the world. However, if true, it could mean that the Kim Jong Un regime is one step closer to building a nuclear warhead that could reach the U.S. mainland.

The reports claim that during the testing of the missile the dictator was present and after the success, congratulated the officials who developed the rocket. The North Korean leader also hugged the officials as he believed that they had worked hard to achieve the feat.

How the testing was conducted

The U.S. military believes that North Korea tested a KN-17 ballistic missile and sources also revealed that this was the first successful launch in four consecutive tries. It is also believed that the country intends to target ships with the missile. Japanese officials also reported that the missile flew to an unusual height of 1,240 miles and traveled around 430 miles across before plunging into the Sea of Japan. The missile is believed to have landed 60 miles off the Vladivostok coast and 250 miles off the coast of Japan.

The KN-17 is a liquid fueled, single stage missile and can be considered a sibling to the KN-15 rocket. North Korea tested the KN-15 back in February armed with a solid fuel engine.

The missile can also be launched in just five minutes’ notice and from a concealed location. These capabilities greatly alarmed Pentagon officials. The South Korean military claimed that the recent KN-17 testing was done using the same launch site as the February testing of the KN-15.

What this testing indicates

The new missile testing comes just days after the new administration under Moon Jae-In came to power in South Korea.

He previously stated that he was interested in opening a dialog with North Korea in a bid to improve relations between the two nations. However, after the missile testing, administration officials reported that the new president expressed deep regret for what he considered to be an act of deep insult from North Korea. However, Moon was still ready to hold talks with Kim Jong Un and his officials.

The U.N. Security Council also reported that due to the ballistic missile testing it would hold consultations at the request of the United States, South Korea, and Japan. The Trump administration has so far held the stance that North Korean nuclear efforts are unacceptable. However, the American president has stated that he is interested in holding talks with Kim Jong Un regarding the matter.