North Korea’s leadership told Russian lawmakers that it already possesses a ballistic missile with a range of 3,000 kilometers (1864.11 miles) that will be able to reach U.S. territory after modernization, according to Russia’s private Interfax news agency on Tuesday.
Anton Morozov, one of three Russian lawmakers that have just returned from Pyongyang, said North Korea plans to increase the range of its ballistic missiles to 9,000 km — which is distance enough to reach the US Pacific island of Guam.
“There was no talk about the deadline,” said Morozov after the three-day visit to the rogue regime. He noted that dictator Kim Jong Un was preparing to launch another long-range missile “in the nearest future.”
“They are preparing for new tests of a long-range missile,” said Morozov. “They even gave us mathematical calculations that they believe prove that their missile can hit the west coast of the United States.”
He added, “And, in general, their mood is rather belligerent.”
Vladimir Putin’s foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, told Rex Tillerson on Monday night that the escalation of tension in the Korean peninsula is “unacceptable.”
The Russians’ warning is a concern to CIA officials and US generals that Kim could detonate a missile, or at least test another one, in the immediate future — especially in light of the fact that it was Columbus Day in the US on Monday, and Tuesday is the founding anniversary of North Korea’s ruling Workers’ Party, which was formed in 1945.
The claims of an impending launch come as Defense Secretary James Mattis warned the US Army to “stand ready” for any attack from North Korea.
“There’s one thing the US Army can do and that is you have got to be ready to ensure that we have military options that our president can employ if needed,” said Mattis.
In September, North Korea’s most-recent missile launch cleared Japan before crashing into the Pacific Ocean.
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