"(SEOUL, South Korea) — North Korea said Monday the missile it launched over the weekend was a new type of long-range ballistic rocket that can carry a heavy nuclear warhead.
North Korean propaganda must be considered with wariness, but if confirmed, the claim marks another big step forward in the country's escalating efforts to field a nuclear-tipped missile capable of reaching the U.S. mainland.
Outside experts don't believe the North can do that yet, but each new test pushes them closer to the goal.
The launch Sunday is an immediate challenge to South Korea's new leader, a liberal elected just five days earlier who expressed a desire to reach out to North Korea.
The country's push to boost its weapons program also makes it one of the Trump administration's most urgent foreign policy worries.
The missile flew for half an hour and reached an unusually high altitude before landing in the Sea of Japan, the South Korean, Japanese and U.S. militaries said. Tokyo said the flight pattern could indicate a new type of missile."