North Korea says its launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) was a response to military drills conducted by the United States and South Korea.
North Korea’s state-run news agency, KCNA, said the launch was “aimed at further strengthening the self-defensive nuclear deterrent” of the country.
The launch was the first time North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had tested an ICBM, which is capable of reaching Alaska.
The test drew condemnation from the U.S., South Korea and the United Nations, with the U.S. calling for “stronger measures” against the North.
North Korea’s response appears to be that its actions are defensive, and not aggressive. It’s also possible that the country is trying to send a message to the U.S. and South Korea that it will not back down in the face of military drills and sanctions.