North Korea tested an intercontinental ballistic missile Friday that appears to have the range to hit major US cities, experts say, and prompted a fresh round of condemnation from the United States, China, Japan and South Korea.
If the missile were fired on a flatter, standard trajectory, it would have major US cities like Los Angeles, Denver and Chicago well within its range, with possibly the ability to reach as far as New York and Boston, according to David Wright, a missile expert at the Union of Concerned Scientists.
However, early analysis of Friday’s test cannot determine how heavy a payload the missile was carrying in its warhead, Wright said. The heavier the payload, the shorter the range.
South Korea’s joint chiefs of staff said they estimate that the intercontinental ballistic missile tested Friday is more advanced than one launched earlier this month based on the range it traveled.
Kim Jong-Un is quoted as saying “the whole US mainland” is now within North Korea’s reach. He called Pyongyang’s weapons program “a precious asset” that cannot be reversed nor replaced, according to KCNA.
US President Donald Trump condemned the missile launch and said the US would act to ensure its security.