If N. Korea Missile Test Details True, US Territory Is Within Reach

Experts fear they're getting closer to ICBM
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 15, 2017 4:50 AM CDT
Updated May 15, 2017 6:37 AM CDT
This image from video of a news bulletin aired by North Korea's KRT on Monday shows what was said to be the launch of the Hwasong-12 missile at an undisclosed location in North Korea.   (KRT via AP Video)
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(Newser) – North Korea has been bragging about its latest missile launch—and experts say the boasts are more than just empty bluster. The Hwasong-12 missile fired Sunday traveled nearly 500 miles before landing in the Sea of Japan near Russia, according to Pyongyang's KCNA state news agency. Analysts say it was fired at an unusually high trajectory and would have been capable of traveling more than 2,500 miles along a normal trajectory. North Korea says the new rocket is capable of carrying a "large-scale, heavy nuclear warhead," the Guardian reports. KCNA claims Kim Jong Un oversaw the test and "hugged officials in the field of rocket research" after it was a success.

The Washington-based monitoring project 38 North says Sunday's launch "represents a level of performance never before seen from a North Korean missile," reports Reuters. The group says Pyongyang now not only appears to have a missile that can hit the US base at Guam, it also seems to have made faster progress than expected toward creating an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of hitting the US mainland. The BBC reports that Japan and the US, which declared North Korea a "flagrant menace" after the test, have called for an emergency United Nations Security Council meeting Tuesday to discuss the country. (Read more North Korea stories.)

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