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We will never accept a nuclear-armed North Korea: US

This undated picture released from the KCNA on June 9, 2017 shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un (C) inspecting a test-fire of a new-type ground-to-sea cruise rocket developed by the Academy of National Defense Science at an undisclosed location in North Korea. (Photos by AFP)

As the United States describes North Korea’s successful ICBM missile test as an international threat, North’s leader Kim Jong-Un calls it a gift to the "American bastards" on the fourth of July Independence Day holiday.

The Korean Central News Agency said on Tuesday that the recently-tested intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) is capable of carrying "large, heavy nuclear warhead" which is capable of re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere.

It added that Kim personally oversaw the launch of the Hwasong-14 missile and "expressed satisfaction, saying it looked as handsome as a good-looking boy and was well made."

Earlier on Tuesday, North Korea announced that it has successfully test-fired an ICBM, which is capable of hitting anywhere in the world.  

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US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Spain's Foreign Minister Alfonso Dastis Quecedo(not shown) make their way into the Treaty to pose for photos at the State Department on June 29, 2017 in Washington, DC. 

US condemns ICBM test

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson issued a statement decrying the test. "The United States strongly condemns North Korea's launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile. Testing an ICBM represents a new escalation of the threat to the United States, our allies and partners, the region, and the world."

"As we, along with others, have made clear, we will never accept a nuclear-armed North Korea," Tillerson said.

The US also called for an emergency UN Security Council meeting, which is set to take place on Wednesday.

Pentagon: We will defend our allies

The Pentagon also released a statement in which it said it was ready to defend the US and its allies in the face of the growing threat from the North.

“We remain prepared to defend ourselves and our allies and to use the full range of capabilities at our disposal against the growing threat from North Korea," said Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White. “Our commitment to the defense of our allies, the Republic of Korea and Japan, in the face of these threats, remains ironclad," she added.

US, South Korea engage in live-fire drill

In a show of force following Pyongyang’s ICBM test, the US and South Korean troops launched missiles into the waters off South Korea.

The missiles used in the drill feature "deep strike precision capability," enabling both countries "to engage the full array of time-critical targets under all weather conditions," said a statement released by the US army.

South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said that the drill was carried out "as a strong message of warning" in simulating an attack on the North Korea’s leadership.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in looks on during a joint press conference with US President Donald Trump in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, DC, on June 30, 2017. 

According to the Yonhap news agency, the live- fire drill was carried out by the orders of South Korean President Moon Jae-In.

"President Moon said North Korea's serious provocation required us to react with more than just a statement and that we need to clearly show our missile defense readiness to North Korea," it cited Seoul's presidential Blue House as saying.

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres arrives to hold a press conference during peace talks on June 30, 2017 in the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana.

UN slams North Korea's 'Dangerous Escalation'

Also on Tuesday, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres strongly condemned the North’s first successful ICBM test.

"This action is yet another brazen violation of Security Council resolutions and constitutes a dangerous escalation of the situation," he said.

He added that Kim “must cease further provocative actions and comply fully with its international obligations."

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The test was carried out just hours after US President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed to exert added pressure on North Korea over its missile and nuclear development programs.

Unsettled by North Korean missile and nuclear programs, the US has adopted a war-like posture, sending a strike group and conducting joint military drills with North Korea’s regional adversaries Japan and South Korea.

The US also recently deployed an advanced missile system on South Korean soil to counter potential threats from the North, angering Pyongyang.

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