North Korea fires another missile
repeatedly said he wants a nuclear-tipped missile that can reach the United States, but American intelligence agencies had in recent days spotted preparations for another test.
The launch took place the day after the anniversary of the conclusion of the Korean War, which ended in an armistice but which Pyongyang claims it won. The day is celebrated in North Korea as “The Day of Victory in the Great Fatherland Liberation War.”
This latest provocation compounds the problem facing the Trump administration and North Korea’s neighbors: how to stop the Kim regime from making progress with its nuclear weapons program.
On Wednesday, the day before the anniversary of the end of the 1950-1953 Korean War, North Korea threatened to launch a preemptive nuclear strike against the United States.
“If enemies misunderstand our strategic status and stick to options of staging a pre-emptive nuclear attack against us, we will launch a nuclear attack on America’s heart as the most relentless punishment without warning or prior notice,” Pak Yong Sik, North Korea’s defense minister, said at a ceremony Wednesday, according to the North’s official Korean Central News Agency.
The test comes barely three weeks after North Korea fired its first missile technically capable of reaching the United States, launched as July 4 dawned in Asia.
That missile, which North Korea called the Hwasong-14 (or Mars-14), was fired from Panghyon, a northwestern part of the country not far from the border with China, and flew to an altitude of 1,741 miles — seven times as high as the International Space Station. It landed 577 miles from its launch site, splashing down in the sea between the Korean peninsula and Japan.
If fired on a trajectory designed to maximize its range, rather than a “lofted” flight path, the missile could have flown 4,970 miles, according to the missile defense project at CSIS. That would put Hawaii and Alaska within reach.
But analysts at the Center for Nonproliferation Studies in California have suggested the missile was capable of getting to New York City.
Jeffrey Lewis, head of the East Asia program at CNS, said the latest apparent ICBM test would have been designed to demonstrate that North Korea could hit more of the mainland United States.