North Korea announced Wednesday that it had completed its goal of becoming a nuclear state after test-firing a powerful new intercontinental ballistic missile that it said puts the entire United States within striking distance.

The fresh challenge to the U.S. and Japan saw the North launch what was apparently its longest-range missile to date after a hiatus of 10 weeks, injecting new uncertainty into the nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula.

In a special televised announcement, North Korea said it had "successfully carried out" a launch of the newly developed Hwasong-15 ICBM, which it said is "capable of striking the whole mainland of the U.S."