N. Korea's leader hints of long-range missile test launch



DATE: 01/01/2017
SOURCE: AP, CBS


North Korean leader Kim Jong Un hinted Sunday that Pyongyang may ring in the new year with another bang — the test-launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile.

In his annual New Year's address, Kim said that after testing what the North claims was its first hydrogen bomb last year, preparations for launching an intercontinental ballistic missile have "reached the final stage"

Kim did not explicitly say an ICBM test, which if successful would be a big step forward for the North, was imminent. But he has a birthday coming up on Jan. 8, and last year Pyongyang conducted a nuclear test on Jan. 6.

Kim threatened in the address to boost his country's military capabilities further unless the U.S. ends war games with rival South Korea. But he also said efforts must be made to defuse the possibility of another Korean war and stressed the importance of building the economy under a five-year plan announced in May.

The year ahead could be a tumultuous one in north Asia, with Donald Trump set to become the new U.S. president on Jan. 20, and South Korea's politics in disarray over a scandal that brought the impeachment of President Park Geun-hye.

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http://www.cbsnews.com/news/kim-jong-un-hints-north-korea-test-intercontinental-ballistic-missle/

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