PYONGYANG, North Korea, Jan. 1 (UPI) — North Korea is almost ready to test an intercontinental ballistic missile, according to leader Kim Jong Un. An intercontinental launch system could allow the rogue nation to deliver a nuclear warhead to the United States.
In a televised speech on New Year’s Day, Kim promised North Korea would continue developing their nuclear arsenal, and would do so until the United States ceases conducting military exercises in South Korea.
“Research and development of the cutting-edge tech weapons are actively progressing and strengthening our defense capabilities, including last stage preparation of tests for Intercontinental Ballistic rocket launch have been continuously succeeding,” Kim said in the speech.
North Korea conducted two nuclear weapons tests in 2016, on top of several non-nuclear missile tests.
Though North Korea has made progress on its missile launch and nuclear bomb technologies, U.S. officials believe the country is still a ways from being able to deliver a nuclear weapon. North Korea is still working on miniaturizing its nuclear bombs so they can be attached to a missile.
The country’s long-range missile system is called KN-08. Though it’s been showcased several times, it has not yet been tested.