N.Korea says it can launch long-range missile anytime

Seoul: North Korea has declared that it could launch an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) “anytime and anywhere” and accused the US of spurring on its nuclear development programme.

“The ICBM will be launched anytime and anywhere determined by the supreme headquarters of North Korea,” said a Foreign Ministry spokesman, as cited by official news agency KCNA on Monday.

The spokesman noted that the intercontinental ballistic missile program is part of the country’s response to the “increasingly perverse nuclear threat” posed by the US.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said on January 1 in his New Year message that North Korean intercontinental experimental missiles were in the final phase of development, Efe news reported.

North Korea has been under UN sanctions since 2006 over the country’s nuclear and ballistic missile tests, the largest of which was conducted in September last year and raised international alarm.

Several experts consider it is very likely that the hermetic regime will carry out new arms tests in early 2017 to enhance the development of its missile and nuclear weapons programme.