Leaders and countries around the world have condemned the successful and unprecedented North Korean launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). The launch prompted an emergency meeting of the United Nations (U.N.) Security Council, at the request of the United States, South Korea and Japan.

North Korea’s Independence Day Test Launch

The Pentagon has confirmed the July 4th missile test, in which North Korea boasted an ICBM comprised of two stages. The first stage was believed to be a KN-17 liquid fueled missile, a type of missile that has been launched by North Korea in the past.

The second stage, however, has never been seen before, according to U.S. intelligence. This new stage was attached to the first stage prior to launch and likely contributed to the missile’s unprecedented success.

North Korea continues to accuse the United States and South Korea of attempting to sabotage its regime, with violent threats issued regularly from the communist state.

“As a proud nuclear power that possesses not only nuclear weapons but also the most powerful ICBM that can target any part of the world, North Korea will root out the United States’ threat and blackmail of nuclear war and solidly defend the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and the region,” North Korea’s official news agency announced in a broadcast.

A U.S. defense official said the new North Korean missile has a theoretical range of about 3,400 miles, if shot at a more standard trajectory than Tuesday's test, CNN reports. A missile shot at this range, the official added, could potentially strike Alaska. However, the North Korean regime has yet to achieve an ICBM that could successfully deploy a nuclear weapon.

“The American bastards must be quite unhappy after closely watching our strategic decision,” said North Korean leader Kim Jong-un after the missile test. “I guess they are not too happy with the gift package we sent them for the occasion of their Independence Day. We should often send them gift packages so they won’t be too bored.”

Reactions Around the World

The test was strongly condemned by the U.N.

Security Council and by countries around the world, including the United States, South Korea, Russia, and China. The nature of reactions, though, differed among countries.

The United States and South Korea opted to flex their military muscles, conducting a joint ballistic missile drill in response to the North Korean test. In addition, U.S. President Donald Trump, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley have suggested possible U.S. military action against North Korea in the future to end further threats. In the emergency U.N. meeting, Ambassador Haley also called for China and Russia to reinforce sanctions against North Korea.

China and Russia, however, have chosen a more diplomatic approach, warning North Korea in a joint press statement that it must refrain from future missile tests and nuclear programs to prevent the United States and South Korea from conducting future drills. Unlikely partners Russia and China both have economic ties to North Korea, with 90 percent of North Korean trade coming from China.