North Korea claims successful missile launch

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) North Korean citizens in the capital are praising their country's launch of what it called its first intercontinental ballistic missile.

Soon after the authoritarian government announced Tuesday that it had fired the missile that morning, a 38-year-old Pyongyang man named Ri Song Gil said his country "can attack anywhere in the world." He added, "Now, the time when the U.S. could threaten the world with nuclear weapons has passed away."

Twenty-seven-year-old Kim Hye Ok calls the launch "extremely delightful news" and says North Korea "will march forward along our own way" despite international sanctions.

The launch appeared to be the North's most successful missile test yet. A U.S. scientist examining its height and distance said it could be powerful enough to reach Alaska.