Latest ICBM Can Reach US – Responses Moving Quickly
North Korea’s latest ICBM test on Friday may have the capability to reach the United States, according to analysts. The missile reached a height of 2,314 miles, for 47 minutes. Change the trajectory and it could have reached the US.
The missile landed near the Japanese Island of Hokkaido, which infuriated Japan, as it landed in Japan’s economic zone. Prime Minister Abe promised Japan “will take concrete action with the US.” The US, Japan, and South Korea began talking about a possible military response to the provocation.
Kim Jong Un- playing with fire
The US successfully tested its THAAD anti-missile defense system in Alaska on Sunday.
South Korea’s new President, Moon Jae-In had put a halt to the deployment of the THAAD anti-missile system. After North Korea’s latest ICBM test, he is now pushing for more THAAD units, according to Reuters.
The THAAD system is not designed to stop an ICBM – it’s designed to intercept short and intermediate range ballistic missiles, according to media reports.
In response, South Korean jets escorted two US B-1 Bombers through its air space in a show of “lethal overwhelming” force on Sunday, as well as conducted a joint missile exercise.
What’s all the hubbub about? Can North Korea really do anything? Surely they don’t have nukes!
The latest test reveals that Kim has moved closer in his plan to send a nuke to the West. Now that he has a viable ICBM that puts the US in striking distance, the only thing left is the nuclear payload. Some experts believe he is even close to that…perhaps closer than was first thought.
David Wright at the Union of Concerned Scientists wrote,
If those numbers are correct, the missile flown on a standard trajectory the missile would have a range 10,400 km (6,500 miles), not taking into account the Earth’s rotation.
However, the rotation of the Earth increases the range of missiles fired eastward, depending on their direction.
Wright believes that if the nuclear payload were heavier, the missile would fly farther, and could place even New York in danger. While New York and Washington DC are likely far enough away, cities such as Denver, Chicago, and Los Angeles could be in jeopardy. The Daily Mail reported some of the distances:
US Naval Base in Guam: 2,114 miles
Hawaii: 4,727 miles
San Francisco: 5,588 miles
Los Angeles: 5,935 miles
New York: 6,783 miles
Washington, DC: 6,857 miles
Rome: 5,449 miles
Paris: 5,446 miles
London: 5,379 miles
Berlin: 4,926 miles
It’s not just the US that could be in Kim’s sights, it’s Europe as well.
“North Korea remains the most urgent threat to regional stability. Diplomacy remains the lead. However, we have a responsibility to our allies and our nation to showcase our unwavering commitment while planning for the worst-case scenario.” Gen. Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy, U.S. Pacific Air Forces commander