North Korea launches ballistic missile believed capable of striking U.S. mainland

The U.S. Department of Defense confirmed that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea   (North Korea) launched an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM), Pentagon spokesman Col. Robert Manning (U.S. Army) noted in a statement released on Wednesday.

This is believed to be North Korea’s third ICBM test this year, following two in July, and the first missile launch of any kind since Sept. 15, when they tested an intermediate range missile.

The ICBM was launched from Sain Ni, North Korea, north of Pyongyang, and traveled east about 620 miles before splashing down in the Sea of Japan, within Japan’s Exclusive Economic Zone, an area that extends 200 nautical miles from its coast. “We are working with our…  partners on a more detailed assessment of the launch,” Col. Manning noted.

The North American Aerospace Defense Command determined the missile launch from North Korea did not pose a threat to North America or U.S. territories and allies, the colonel said.

South Korea news media sources reported that its own army staged its own “precision strike” missile exercise in response.

The United States’ remains committed to the defense of its allies, including South Korea and Japan, in the face of these threats, and its commitment remains ironclad, Manning said. “We remain prepared to defend ourselves and our allies from any attack or provocation,” he warned.

Meanwhile, David Wright, who is an expert with the Union of Concerned Scientists stated that if it had been fired on a standard trajectory, the ICBM would have been capable of traveling 8,100 miles.
“Such a missile would have more than enough range to reach Washington, DC, and in fact any part of the continental United States,” Wright said in a statement, though he noted that range probably wouldn’t be possible if the missile were fitted with a heavy nuclear warhead.


Jim Kouri, CPP, is founder and CEO of Kouri Associates, a homeland security, public safety and political consulting firm. He's formerly Fifth Vice-President, now a Board Member of the National Association of Chiefs of Police, a columnist, and a contributor to the nationally syndicated talk-radio program, the Chuck Wilder Show.. He's former chief of police at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at St. Peter's University and director of security for several major organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country.

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