Pyongyang’s state-controlled news agency KCNA condemned the launch of the Minuteman III, which was fired from California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base this week and traveled 4,200 miles to the Marshall Islands.
In its statement, North Korea said the United States “will soon clearly know what real war tastes like.”
The statement ran under an article titled, “The world is looking at a bandit with his knife pulled out,” and accused the United States of acting outside the norm.
“Even as the [United States] drinks extreme bitterness from a cup, it viciously persists in pursuing a hostile policy against [North Korea],” the statement read. “Can we really regard the United States as a normal country?”
“No one welcomes a bandit who coerces the proprietor with a knife,” KCNA stated. “It is our legal right to strengthen our deterrence in the critical situation.”
The Minuteman III missile, which included a non-explosive payload of flight data, traveled to the Marshall Islands’ Kwajalein Atoll, and was declared a success.
“Tonight’s launch was an important demonstration of our nation’s nuclear deterrent capability. Test launches like this one are vital to validating the effectiveness and readiness of our operational nuclear systems, so it is critical that they are successful,” Col. John Moss of the USAF 30th Space Wing had said.
The launch was criticized by a California-based nonprofit that charged the United States of “operating with a clear double standard.”
In September 2016, the Air Force launched a Minuteman II ICBM following North Korea’s testing of missiles.