North Korea reiterates threat to test intercontinental ballistic missile
Pyongyang : North Korea on Thursday reiterated its threat to launch an intercontinental ballistic missile soon after Seoul warned that Pyongyang could test its new missile.
"Our ICBM (intercontinental ballistic missile) will be test-fired at a certain time and place which our leadership will decide," the Rodong Sinmun, a daily of the North's ruling Workers' Party, said in an opinion section piece.
The daily also said the ICBM test is "a fair self-defence step to counter the US threat of a nuclear war" against the North, adding that the US tested this type of missile last year.
On Thursday, sources in Seoul affiliated with the Defence Ministry reported that Pyongyang has built and prepared for the launch of two intercontinental ballistic missiles, suggesting that North Korea is ready to test them in the near future, Efe news reported.
South Korean experts say Kim Jong-un's regime wants to fine-tune its new long-range missiles with an aim to show its strength in the face of US President-elect Donald Trump's impending inauguration.
The regime leader Kim Jong-un assured in his New Year speech that North Korean intercontinental experimental missiles are in the "final phase" of development.
The last time North Korea carried out a long-range projectile test was on February 7, 2016, which, together with a nuclear test carried out a month earlier, led to the UN imposing strict sanctions on the country.
Analysts consider it very likely that the North Korean regime will carry out new arms tests earlier this year to boost the development of its missile and nuclear weapons programme.