After nine failed attempts, North Korea succeeded in launching a long-range strategic missile on Sunday. After Pyongyang’s success, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un promised the country would hold more nuclear and missile tests.

After he made the promise, the Korean Central News Agency identified the medium long-range strategic missile as a Hwasong-12. The missile, which flew for 30 minutes and reached an altitude of 2,000 kilometers, is possibly a new type of missile, according to Tomomi Inada, defense minister of Japan, CNN reported.

Besides Japan, the South Korean and U.S.

militaries confirmed the altitude and time the North Korean missile flew before it landed in the Sea of Japan. Based on its high altitude and longer flight time, it could indicate a missile with an extended range, said David Wright, co-director of the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Sea of fire

For decades, Pyongyang had threatened to reduce South Korea to a “sea of fire.” The Sunday missile launch could be a big step forward to North Korea’s threat to launch a nuclear warhead that could reach the U.S. mainland.

It also represents a major challenge to the leadership of Moon Jae-in, the new president of South Korea, who had said he wanted to reach out to Pyongyang, The Washington Post reported.

The Defense Ministry of South Korea said there is more analysis needed to verify North Korea’s claim on the technological features of the Hwasong-12.

Moon Sang Gyun, the spokesman of the ministry, said it is unlikely that Pyongyang has a re-entry technology that could return a warhead back into the atmosphere safely.

Talks with Trump

Ironically, the missile test was done just a day after Choe Son Hui, director general for U.S. Affairs of the North Korea Foreign Ministry said that Pyongyang is open to a dialogue with the U.S. under the right conditions. She made the statement one week after U.S. President Donald Trump expressed willingness to talk to North Korea leader Kim Jong-un under the right circumstances.

Meanwhile, in response to North Korea’s launch of the Hwasong-12, Russia placed on high alert its far eastern air defense, the RIA-Novosti News Agency reported. In a statement, Viktor Ozerov, head of the Federation Council Committee on Defense and Security of Russia, said that the country is not only an object of an attack but also a place where a missile could fall. To protect Russia from that possibility, it must keep its air defense systems in the Far East in a state of increased combat readiness.