Photos of North Korea Missile Launch Capture Worrying Sign
Missile flew 10 times higher than space station
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 29, 2017 5:30 AM CST
Updated Nov 29, 2017 6:23 AM CST
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People cheer as they watch the news broadcast announcing North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's order to test-fire the newly developed inter-continental ballistic missile Hwasong-15, Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017, at the Pyongyang Train Station in Pyongyang, North Korea.   (AP Photo/Jon Chol Jin)
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(Newser) – North Korea says its latest missile is capable of reaching the entire US mainland—and experts warn that Pyongyang could be right. The Hwasong-15 missile launched early Wednesday went up almost 2,800 miles—10 times the height of the International Space Station—and flew around 590 miles, demonstrating what analysts say is the capability to hit American cities including Washington, DC. "With this system, we can load the heaviest warhead and strike anywhere in the mainland United States," North Korean newsreader Ri Chun Hee said in a special broadcast, per the Washington Post. "This signifies that our rocket development process has been completed." Japanese officials say the intercontinental ballistic missile did not fly over the country, but landed in the sea off its northern coast. In other developments:

  • Game-changer. Analysts say that Pyongyang probably still has some technical hurdles to overcome, including mastering targeting and the ability to deliver heavy warheads, but the launch is still a game-changer, Reuters reports. "We don't have to like it, but we’re going to have to learn to live with North Korea’s ability to target the United States with nuclear weapons," says Jeffrey Lewis, head of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program.

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