North Korea launched another long-range intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on Friday, the U.S. Pentagon confirmed. It was not immediately which ballistic missile was launched.
“We detected a ballistic missile test on Friday and anticipated it,” a senior official told People’s Pundit Daily. “It was just conducted sooner than we initially thought it would due to weather.”
The launch, which was the first since the rogue leftwing regime tested a new ballistic missile on July 4, 2017, occurred shortly before 11:00 AM EST. U.S. officials believed the launch date would be Thursday–the 64th anniversary of the signing of the armistice that ended fighting in the Korean War. The North and South Koreans are still technically in a state of war.
Though the ICBM on July 4 was believed to be a version of the KN-17, North Korea designated it the Hwasong-14. With the launch, Pyongyang took a major step forward by developing a new model and beat the previous record.
It flew for 37 minutes and reached a height of 1,500 miles, or roughly 2414 kilometers, breaking the DPRK’s previous record of 30 minutes and 1,000 feet set on Mother’s Day. Rather than a single-stage, it was outfitted with a second stage, liquid propulsion system that gives Pyongyang the capability to reach the U.S.–Alaska.
It’s an improvement from the Hwasong-12, which has a maximum range of 4,500 kilometers.
“Had the same motor’s thrust been put to a range-maximizing flight path, the Hwasong-14 could have traveled as far as 7,000 kilometers, enough to reach Alaska and well in range of Guam,” claimed Thomas Karako, a Senior Fellow at the International Security Program Missile Defense Project.
“If fired in an eastward direction to take advantage of the rotation of the earth, the Hwasong-14 could potentially reach up to 8,000 kilometers, putting Hawaii at risk.”
In order to reach the continental U.S., Pyongyang would still need an ICBM with a range of over 8,000 kilometers. To put the East Coast at risk, that range increases to at least 10,000 kilometers.