North Korea releases dozens of images of new ICBM

Dozens of images of the Hwasong-15 missile were published in state media.

Dozens of photos of the Hwasong-15 missile were published in state media. North Korea claims to have achieved its goal of becoming a nuclear state with the missile launch Wednesday. 

Michael Duitsman, a researcher at the Center for Nonproliferation Studies in Monterey, Calif., tweeted soon after the photos were published: “This is very big missile … And I don’t mean ‘Big for North Korea.’ Only a few countries can produce missiles of this size, and North Korea just joined the club.”

More: How safe is the U.S. from a North Korea nuclear attack?

More: After North Korea missile test, what’s next?

Duitsman suggested the new ICBM appears to have a different engine arrangement and improved steering from the the smaller Hwasong-14 ICBM that the North tested twice in July.

First, this is a very big missile. Quite a bit larger than the Hwasong-14 from earlier this year. pic.twitter.com/vObmjdpYoH

“They wanted (to be able) to hit all of the U.S. and they wanted something big to hit it with. This seems on the surface level to be that missile,” David Schmerler, a research associate at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, told CNN.

The Hwasong-15 appears to be the longest-range missile ever tested by North Korea, which said it reached an altitude of 2,780 miles and flew a distance of 590 miles in 53 minutes. It would have had a range of 8,100 miles had it flown in a flat trajectory, according to calculations by David Wright, an expert at the Union of Concerned Scientists. That would make it capable of reaching Washington, D.C. 

A link has been posted to your Facebook feed.

President Trump tweeted Wednesday: “Just spoke to President XI JINPING of China concerning the provocative actions of North Korea. Additional major sanctions will be imposed on North Korea today. This situation will be handled!”

Trump later called the North’s leader, Kim Jong Un “Little Rocket Man” and “a sick puppy.”

Just spoke to President XI JINPING of China concerning the provocative actions of North Korea. Additional major sanctions will be imposed on North Korea today. This situation will be handled!

Members of the U.N. Security Council condemned the missile launch at an emergency meeting in New York on Wednesday.

“The dictator of North Korea made a choice yesterday that brings the world closer to war, not farther from it,” said Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. “And if war comes, make no mistake, the North Korean regime will be utterly destroyed,” she added.

She called on nations to cut ties with the isolated country.

“In addition to fully implementing all U.N. sanctions, all countries should sever diplomatic relations with North Korea and limit military, scientific, technical, or commercial cooperation,” Haley said.

“They must also cut off trade with the regime by stopping all imports and exports, and expel all North Korean workers.”

North Korean news agency KCNA issued a report stating that the Hwasong-15 carried a “super-large heavy warhead.”  The report said that Kim watched the launch and “declared with pride that now we have finally realized the great historic cause of completing the state nuclear force.”

State television also ran a special broadcast on the launch, which showed Kim personally signing the launch order.

More: Trump: North Korea’s Kim Jong Un ‘a sick puppy’

More: Insults, ICBMs and daring defections: A guide to the North Korea crisis

Contributing: Thomas Maresca and Jim Michaels