North Korea tested its second ever intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on Friday. The launch occurred at around 10.45 a.m. Eastern time, a day after the 64th anniversary of the 1953 Korean War armistice. The United States and South Korea responded by holding a joint ballistic-missile exercise.
The latest ICBM is thought to have reached an altitude of 2,300 miles and traveled some 600 miles before landing into the Sea of Japan. According to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the missile may have landed within the exclusive economic zone. Friday’s launch is thought to be North Korea’s 14th missile test this year.
The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) promptly stressed that the missile had not posed a threat to North America although allthingsnuclear.org calculated that, had the missile been launched on a standard angle, it could have traveled a distance of 6,500 miles. In other words, such a missile could reach Los Angeles, Denver, and Chicago and potentially Boston and New York.
In a statement issued shortly after the launch, the Pentagon condemned the threats and reaffirmed its support to its allies.
“Our commitment to the defense of our allies, including the Republic of Korea and Japan, in the face of these threats, remains ironclad. We remain prepared to defend ourselves and our allies from any attack or provocation,” the statement read.
Meanwhile, House Armed Services Committee Member Rep. Mike Turner of Ohio urged President Trump to sign the sanctions bill passed by both the House and the Senate this week.
“These missile tests must be met with consequences. Earlier this week, I voted to increase sanctions against North Korea. The Senate has since taken the same action. I urge the President to quickly sign these sanctions into law to thwart further escalation of North Korea’s missile systems,” Turner said in a statement.
Pyongyang launched its very first ICBM on Independence Day. The U.S. and South Korea responded by firing missiles into South Korea’s territorial waters as a warning to Pyongyang. Although the July 4 launch was deemed a success, it isn’t known how well the missile coped with reentry into the Earth’s atmosphere.
Last week, we reported that Pyongyang still lacked the technology to ‘miniaturize’ a nuclear weapon and produce a nuclear-tipped intercontinental missile but earlier this week a U.S. official said that North Korea would be able to launch a nuclear-armed long-range missile by early 2018.
Following the latest launch, top U.S. and South Korean military officials are reported to have discussed military options, which could now include preemptive surgical strikes.Share