What we know about North Korea’s new ICBM
Seoul, South Korea (CNN)North Korea has confirmed it tested a new type of intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), its first long-range test in more than four years and marking a potential new era of regional confrontation.North Korean state media said on Friday that leader Kim Jong Un had directly guided the launch of the weapon, known as the Hwasong-17, its most advanced to date. The report described the launch as a “powerful nuclear war deterrent” and quoted Kim as saying the country’s forces were “fully ready” for potential military confrontation with the United States.The huge weapon could, at least theoretically, put the entire US mainland in range of a North Korean nuclear warhead, but there’s a lot of unknowns about the missile’s capability to deliver a nuclear payload on target.
North Korean state media Friday released pictures showing the massive, liquid-fueled missile being fired from a mobile launcher at Pyongyang International Airport.The report from the Korean Central News Agency said the missile hit a maximum altitude of 6,248.5 kilometers (3,905 miles), flew a distance of 1,090 kilometers (681 miles) and had a flight time of 68 minutes before it “landed accurately in the planned waters” between the Korean Peninsula and Japan. That closely matched the estimates of Japanese monitors, who said the missile fell within Japan’s exclusive economic zone, about 150 kilometers (93 miles) west of Oshima Peninsula in Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost main island.
Analysts said it was fired in a lofted trajectory, enabling it to avoid flying over any other country. But they noted if it were fired in the normal, flatter trajectory of an ICBM, it would have the entire continental United States within its reach.”This is the longest-range missile North Korea has ever tested,” said Jeffrey Lewis, a weapons expert and professor at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies.