North Korea claims to have developed an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) which they say is almost ready for testing. The missile can allegedly deliver a nuclear weapon to the U.S. mainland. Kim Jong Un put out a New Year's message that it could launch 'at any time.'
A spokesperson for the foreign minister of North Korea blames the U.S. for the country's missile program. Sanctions have so far prevented Pyongyang from developing their nuclear program, but the spokesperson said US officials are spouting 'rubbish' when they assume the country will maintain President Obama's policies.
"Anyone who wants to deal with (North Korea) would be well advised to secure a new way of thinking after having clear understanding of it," said the statement.
"North Korea just stated that it is in the final stages of developing a nuclear weapon capable of reaching parts of the US. It won't happen!" tweeted President Elect Donald Trump responded to the threat.
"(The North Koreans) are trying to create some space for Trump to reverse the Obama policy and talk with them in a serious way," said John Delury, assistant professor of international studies at Yonsei University.
China and South Korea denounced the threat, and warned that any missile testing by North Korea could lead to further sanctions.
"If North Korea disregards our warning and launches an ICBM, it will face more powerful and thorough sanctions and pressure by the international community," said South Korean Defense Ministry spokesman Moon Sang-gyun.