North Korea on Tuesday launched a new Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that it claims was the “most powerful” to date. Experts and officials have since said the latest launch shows that North Korean missiles could reach anywhere in the world.
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said the missile test went “higher, frankly, than any previous shot they have taken,” and that North Korea can hit “everywhere in the world, basically.”
The ICBM was launched Tuesday from Sain Ni and traveled more than 600 miles before crashing into the Sea of Japan, within Japan’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). The ICBM was in flight for more than 50 minutes.
The BBC reported that, based on its trajectory, the missile could have traveled more than 8,000 miles, which means it could reach “any part of the continental United States.”
“But it seems likely, the analysis adds, that the missile had a very light mock warhead, meaning it might lack the power to carry a nuclear payload, which is much heavier, over that distance,” the BBC pointed out. “North Korea, however, says the Hwasong-15 could reach mainland US carrying a ‘super-large heavy warhead.'”
The missile launch defied international sanctions on the country led by dictator Kim Jong Un, and it drew ire across the globe, as this was the highest missile North Korea has ever launched – reaching nearly 2,800 miles at its highest.
President Donald Trump tweeted on Wednesday morning that “additional major sanctions will be imposed on North Korea today. The situation will be handled!”
North Korea had not tested a missile in more than two months – odd, considering the regime led by dictator Kim Jong Un has conducted now-16 missile tests this year alone, and also launched a nuclear bomb.
North Korea in early September conducted its sixth ever successful nuclear missile launch and claims that the country now has a Hydrogen bomb it can place on an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).
The most recent North Korean missile test was on Sept. 14, when North Korea launched an intermediate-range missile over Japan into the Pacific Ocean.