Last night, North Korea tested a new model ICBM, that officials admit is capable of striking every state in the nation save one. Official sources said the North Korean test launched on Friday showed its program could hit the United States, according to a statement reported by The Associated Press and Reuters.
The Department of Defense says the missile, which launched just before midnight local time, traveled roughly 620 miles — from the country’s northern province of Jagang to the Sea of Japan, where it finally splashed into the waters off Japan’s west coast. Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis says the North American Aerospace Defense Command “determined the missile launch from North Korea did not pose a threat to North America.”
Later, the Pentagon announced that in response to the North Korean test, it had conducted a precision missile firing exercise with South Korea. Meanwhile, President Trump released a statement calling the launch “the latest reckless and dangerous action by the North Korean regime.”
The presidents statement went on to say; “The United States condemns this test and rejects the regime’s claim that these tests—and these weapons—ensure North Korea’s security. In reality, they have the opposite effect. By threatening the world, these weapons and tests further isolate North Korea, weaken its economy, and deprive its people. The United States will take all necessary steps to ensure the security of the American homeland and protect our allies in the region.”
The launch also shows that the socialist nation is getting outside help from someone, since the launch came just weeks after its first successful ICBM test. That missile was shown to have a range that would have allowed it to reach Hawaii. But the missile launched Friday, not only flew farther than previous ones, it also demonstrated greater refinements and capabilities than anyone would expect in less than a month.
Melissa Hanham, with the East Asia Nonproliferation Program at the Middlebury Institute, said; “It does appear that at a minimum this missile may go up to 10,000 kilometers (6,200 miles), but it may go as far as 11,000 kilometers (6,800 miles), And that puts all of the West Coast and the Midwest in range at 10,000 kilometers. At 11,000 kilometers, pretty much every U.S. state but Florida is in range. To this point, the international community has attempted various approaches to slow the progress of North Korea’s weapons program, none of them particularly fruitful.
Ms. Hanham also explained that recent tests of Anti-missile systems may make people feel good, but “those tests aren’t very realistic when it comes to a real war scenario.”
“The terrible problem with North Korea is that there’s really no good options. And that’s why we haven’t had an enormous amount of success in the past,” Hanham says. “You know, there are very few options and all of them are bad.”
Even Gen. Mark Milley, the chief of staff of the U.S. Army, told the National Press Club on Thursday; “North Korea is the single most dangerous threat facing the international community right now, their military threat is the one thing I’m worried about. A war on the Korean Peninsula would be highly deadly. The United States military, in combination with the South Korean military, would utterly destroy the North Korean military — but that would be done at high cost in terms of human life.”