North Korea has fired an ICBM, traveling 620 miles into the Sea of Japan.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said Saturday the second flight test this month of an intercontinental ballistic missileÂ showsÂ that his country can hit the U.S. mainland, a view shared by U.S. analysts who sayÂ a stretch fromÂ Los Angeles and Chicago now appearsÂ technically within range of the North’s weapons.
Kim, according to the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), expressed âgreat satisfactionâ after the Hwasong-14 missile reached a maximum height of 2,314 milesÂ and flew 620 milesÂ beforeÂ landing in waters off Japan.
The agency said that the test was aimed at confirming the maximum range and other technical aspects of the missile it says was capable of delivering a âlarge-sized, heavy nuclear warhead,â according to the Associated Press.Â
Kim also noted that the rare night launch showed North Korea’s ability to mountÂ a surprise attack.Â The KCNA quoted himÂ as sayingÂ the launch reaffirmed the reliability of the countryâs ICBM system and an ability to fire at ârandom regions and locations at random timesâ with the âentireâ U.S. mainland now within reach.
The July 4 test indicated that Alaska was technically in range, but not the U.S. mainland.
A U.S. expert, David Wright, co-director and senior scientists for the Union of Concerned Scientists, writes Saturday that Friday’s launch sent the missile on a “very highly lofted trajectory” thatÂ narrowed its range, but that one flown on a standard trajectory would have a range of 6,500 miles.
A chart of U.S. cities “shows that Los Angeles, Denver, and Chicago appear to be well within range of this missile, and that Boston and New York may be just within range,” he writes in hisÂ blog…