North Korea Launches Its First Ever ICBM, "Can Reach Alaska"

There was something different - and symbolic - about last night's North Korean ballistic missile launch which not coincidentally took place on US Independence Day, because shortly after the event, North Korea announced it would have an important announcement to make. This time it did not disappoint, when the country declared that it had successfully tested its first intermediate-range intercontinental ballistic missile which flew for a record time/altitude for the rogue state, and is seen as a "watershed moment" in its push to develop a nuclear weapon capable of hitting the mainland United States.

North Korea, it said, was now "a full-fledged nuclear power that has been possessed of the most powerful inter-continental ballistic rocket capable of hitting any part of the world". The ICBM  would enable the country to "put an end to the US nuclear war threat and blackmail" and defend the Korean peninsula, it added.

In a statement the North's Academy of Defence Science, which developed the missile, said it reached an altitude of 2,802 kilometres and flew 933 kilometres, calling it the "final gate to rounding off the state nuclear force".

There are still doubts whether the North can miniaturise a nuclear weapon sufficiently to fit it onto a missile nose cone, or if it has mastered the technology needed for it to survive the difficult re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere.

As Citi said, "the move is highly provocative and it is difficult to imagine that the date chosen was in any way coincidental (NK did the same in 2006 and 2009)... the enormity of this latest crisis is, as yet, difficult to gauge."

North Korean state TV released photos of the purported ICBM test launch

Speaking to AFP, US experts said the device could reach Alaska, while the July 4 launch triggered a late evening Twitter outburst from President Trump who urged China to act to "end this nonsense once and for all" and asked on Twitter: "does this guy have anything better to do with his life?"

State TV said the launch was overseen by leader Kim Jong-un

David Wright, a physicist with the US-based Union of Concerned Scientists, told the BBC that if the reports are correct, this missile could "reach a maximum range of roughly 6,700km on a standard trajectory". That range would allow it to reach Alaska, but not the large islands of Hawaii or the other 48 US states, he says. It is not just a missile that North Korea would need, our correspondent adds. It must also have the ability to protect a warhead as it re-enters the atmosphere, and it is not clear if North Korea can do that.

More importantly, the North's possession of a working ICBM, something that Trump has vowed "won't happen", will likely force a fundamental recalculation of the strategic threat posed by the isolated, impoverished state, and prompted an early selloff in South Korean assets. It will likely require more than just a verbal response from the White House.

The "landmark" test of a Hwasong-14 missile was overseen by leader Kim Jong-Un, an emotional female announcer said on state Korean Central Television. The rocket was "a very powerful ICBM that can strike any place in the world", the announcer said, and "a major breakthrough in the history of our republic".

The broadcaster showed his handwritten order to carry out the launch, and pictures of him looking on with binoculars, then grinning in celebration and clenching his fist.

While Pyongyang appears to have made progress, experts believe North Korea does not have the capability to accurately hit a target with an ICBM. Other nuclear powers have also cast doubt on North Korea's assessment, with Russia saying the missile only reached an altitude of 535km and flew about 510km. Nonetheless, the country has made great progress in its missile capabilities since the ascension to power of Kim, who has overseen three nuclear tests and multiple rocket launches.

The United Nations has imposed multiple sets of sanctions on Pyongyang, which retorts that it needs nuclear arms to defend itself against the threat of invasion.

* * *

US Pacific Command confirmed the test and said it was a land-based, intermediate range missile that flew for 37 minutes before splashing down in the Sea of Japan, adding the launch did not pose a threat to North America, while Moscow's defence ministry called it medium-range in a statement to Russian news agencies.

But Tokyo - in whose exclusive economic zone it came down - estimated its maximum altitude to have "greatly exceeded" 2,500 kilometres, prompting arms control specialist Jeffrey Lewis to respond on Twitter: "That's it. It's an ICBM. An ICBM that can hit Anchorage not San Francisco, but still." Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters: "This launch clearly shows that the threat has grown."

The US, Japan and South Korea will hold a summit on the issue on the sidelines of this week's G20 meeting, he added. "Also I will encourage President Xi Jinping and President Putin to take more constructive measures."

South Korea's President Moon Jae-In, who backs both engagement with the North to bring it to the negotiating table and sanctions, and met Trump for a summit in Washington at the weekend, warned the North against crossing a "red line". "I hope North Korea will not cross the bridge of no return," he said.

* * *

All eyes are now on whether the US will retaliate: Washington has more than 28,000 troops in South Korea to defend it from its communist neighbour. Fears of conflict reached a peak earlier this year as the Trump administration suggested military action was an option under consideration. There has also been anger in the United States over the death of Otto Warmbier, an American student detained in North Korea for around 18 months before he was returned home in a coma in June.

Trump has been pinning his hopes on China, North Korea's main diplomatic ally, to bring pressure to bear on Pyongyang, And while recently Trump declared that Beijing's efforts had failed, but returned to the idea on Twitter following the launch: "Perhaps China will put a heavy move on North Korea and end this nonsense once and for all!"

Meanwhile, Beijing called all parties to "keep calm and exercise restraint" following the latest test. Foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said China was opposed to North Korea going against clear UN Security Council resolutions on its missile launches, and hit back at Trump, saying it had made "relentless efforts" on North Korea.


nmewn Tue, 07/04/2017 - 07:41 Permalink

"There are still doubts whether the North can miniaturise a nuclear weapon sufficiently to fit it onto a missile nose cone, or if it has mastered the technology needed for it to survive the difficult re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere."Because missiles capable of placing peaceful, non-threatening communications satellites in orbit must be able to re-enter Erfff's atmosphere undamaged ;-)

land_of_the_few PT Tue, 07/04/2017 - 08:22 Permalink

This article is extremely untruthful.There is no such thing as an "intermediate-range intercontinental ballistic missile"It is an intermediate range ballistic missile or IRBM. Probably a Hwasong-12 with 4000km max range.So, it is not an ICBM because clearly it has not got the range, it cannot in general travel between continents, they are too far apart. "the North's possession of a working ICBM, something that Trump has vowed "won't happen"- this isn't an ICBM. Sorry.

In reply to by PT

Snípéir_Ag_Obair Gravatomic Tue, 07/04/2017 - 08:40 Permalink

Right but wrong.

The issue for President Kushner and the judeocorporate media is that the Norks transfer their short and mid range missile tech to Iran, and that Iran might actually be able to bloody Israel's nose when it is, inevitably, attacked on the pretext of a nuke weapons program Iran does not have...

the same program which Netanyahu (who helped steal, with some American sayanim, American nuclear tech and probably *material*) has claimed, for 25 years mind you, was only months away from building a nuke... as he built more of his own, bulldozed Arab homes, bombed UN posts, hospitals and water treatment facilities, violated multiple Uan resolutions without penalty, and so forth.

Not that the US wants a dictator with nukes improving his ability to deploy them mind you - but for the White House, State Dept, and media... the concern is NK helping Iran's ability to defend itself (and by extension, Hezbollah's ability to defend Lebanon from the Zionist settler-state, which has coveted Lebanon to the Litani since before Zionist terrorists were expelled therefrom by the Frogs).

In reply to by Gravatomic

earleflorida Ink Pusher Tue, 07/04/2017 - 11:42 Permalink

china helped NK...NK helped Pakistan...A.Q. Khan's Nuclear Supermarket help'd everybody whom could help pay for his and Pak's nuclear program...thank the 'dead'd brzezinski' for this with POTUS Carter's blessing, while sticking a giant dildo up cyrus vance ass.   wikipedia is a quick reference but  funded [*owned] by the Rockefeller Foundation*

In reply to by Ink Pusher

Ink Pusher earleflorida Wed, 07/05/2017 - 00:04 Permalink

Nixon ?? that's a stretch and it's ancient history with many vital omissions. Concerning Pakistan : dig a little deeper you've  missed mentioning quite a few key players and a few major nuke deals that have occured since.For starters ..You've  left out the French who are the most dirty of all in this particular scenario.Then add the other players including:   Belgium, Finland, Japan, Sweden and Turkey to the list and you will start to see the bigger picture evolve. 

In reply to by earleflorida

PT Snípéir_Ag_Obair Tue, 07/04/2017 - 08:47 Permalink

And NK just built this thing all by their own little selves with no outside help what-so-ever, is that right?  And it worked, right?  They got all the parts and resources they needed from inside NK.  Maybe they got Tony Stark working with them.  He built an Iron-Man suit while sitting in a cave.Guess I'm just jealous.  I must be a fucking idiot.(Or worse - an idiot.);)

In reply to by Snípéir_Ag_Obair

land_of_the_few shovelhead Tue, 07/04/2017 - 09:20 Permalink

If.There seems to be quite some debate over the altitude reached. Of course, it would be in the interests of certain parties to exaggerate that, to make it look like it has a much longer range. Some are saying it reached less than half what the Norks are claiming.And it's predecessor Hwasong-12 tested last month the Norks themselves proudly trumpeted it could do "up to 4000km". You know, the one they strangely "forgot" to put on the map in this article. Most likely because the red "ring of death" would fall short of Alaska on the map.There was a lot of fibbing about the max altitude of the last launch too. The worst culprits were Japan and some in SK.

In reply to by shovelhead

NiggaPleeze Kayman Tue, 07/04/2017 - 15:07 Permalink

"North Korea would be incinerated before the missile got close to Alaska.".Really?  You advocate genocide of an entire people (N. Koreans) if their hereditary dictator leader were to launch a nuclear weapon against some unihnabited rocks?  Maybe kill them all if he farts in our direction, too, eh, tough guy?Just shows again what an utter farce "Independence Day" is.  US is neither "independent" - rather an Israeli colony with a host of colonists in Washington (politics), New York (banking/media/advertising) and LA (Hollywood) running the show - nor are Americans "free". American "exceptionalism" is just "American supremacism" by another name, and unfortunately just as thuggish and evil as every other group of supremacists that have tried to rule the world.  But I'll let you in on a secret:  the US' global domination won't belong to you, once the global Beast has been established and you've served your purpose like a good little tool, you'll be treated just like the disposable useless eaters of the rest of the world.

In reply to by Kayman

NiggaPleeze ZeroLounger Tue, 07/04/2017 - 17:46 Permalink

Given that Alaska is 663,000 square miles, and has a population of 738,000, over 40% of whom live in Anchorage, yeah, it's largely a pile of rocks.  The odds of hitting a population center is extremely remote and the comment I was resopnding to said "North Korea would be incinerated" before the missile even hit anywhere, you warmongering supremacist.  The most likely outcome, if it ever happened, woudl be an above-ground nuclear test in the middle of nowhere - like the US government did in Nevada about, eh, 100 (above ground, another 800-900 underground).Fortunately the world does not share your utter hateful belligerence or the US would have been turned to ash long ago, having done far worse, wiping out entire cities and countries for no reason at all.But your comment does make obvious why N. Korea, which suffered far greater casualties during US' aggression against it than the entire population of Alaska, wishes to protect itself.  It's belligerent supremacist war-mongers like you, the bane of humanity.

In reply to by ZeroLounger

bigkahuna land_of_the_few Tue, 07/04/2017 - 12:03 Permalink

Good point. I grabbed the following from wikipedia - may or may not be correct. Most importantly to achieve ICBM is the altitude that the booster reaches. This particular rocket supposedly reaches 2802 km. In terms of raw altitude a missile can becom "intercontinental" at roughly 1200 km, at which time during the mid course phase the boost need to maneuver up to another 1200 km before the warhead(s) are released.By these numbers that I have pulled down off the internet (lol) NKs last 2 launches are capable of being "intercontinental" - that being said, either the internet is lying, our fraud ass news is lying, or I have not put my research together very well.BTW - a true ICBM - which the last 2 launches appear to be - if the fat guy over there is not lying - can drop a warhead anywhere on the globe. He probably cannot lift his warhead up there yet - and he may not have a good way to target the warhead yet - but it looks like fatso has his ICBMs. The following flight phases can be distinguished:

  • boost phase: 3 to 5 minutes; it is shorter for a solid-fuel rocket than for a liquid-propellant rocket; depending on the trajectory chosen, typical burnout speed is 4 km/s (2.5 mi/s), up to 7.8 km/s (4.8 mi/s); altitude at the end of this phase is typically 150 to 400 km (93 to 249 mi).
  • midcourse phase: approx. 25 minutes—sub-orbital spaceflight with a flightpath being a part of an ellipse with a vertical major axis; the apogee (halfway through the midcourse phase) is at an altitude of approximately 1,200 km (750 mi); the semi-major axis is between 3,186 and 6,372 km (1,980 and 3,959 mi); the projection of the flightpath on the Earth's surface is close to a great circle, slightly displaced due to earth rotation during the time of flight; the missile may release several independent warheads and penetration aids, such as metallic-coated balloons, aluminum chaff, and full-scale warhead decoys.
  • reentry/terminal phase (starting at an altitude of 100 km, 62 mi): 2 minutes – impact is at a speed of up to 7 km/s (4.3 mi/s) (for early ICBMs less than 1 km/s (0.62 mi/s)); see also maneuverable reentry vehicle.

In reply to by land_of_the_few

gatorengineer PT Tue, 07/04/2017 - 10:52 Permalink

Hell lets start a go fund me campaign so they can buy one from china quicker.....  Guestimating that it would take a billion to buy a nuke at Market value (ask saudi), and another billion to buy the rocket to launch it... So lets say 2000 - 3000 coal trains to china, and its paid for.

In reply to by PT

nmewn jeff montanye Tue, 07/04/2017 - 09:19 Permalink

Funny you should mention that, I was just reading up on that whole thing..."Contrary to reports in the media, the crowd sourced investigation labeled by some as “Pizzagate” did not begin with internet sleuths digging through the Wikileaks Podesta Files releases looking for pizza parlors and encoded language discussing human trafficking. It began with the shocking discovery that Hillary and Bill Clinton provided assistance to convicted child trafficker, Laura Silsby, resulting in a reduced sentence for child trafficking.""The Daily Beast is a holding of American media conglomerate InterActiveCorp. Chelsea Clinton, Vice President of the Clinton Foundation and daughter of Hillary and Bill Clinton, sits on InterActiveCorp’s Board of Directors. The proximity of the Clinton family to the organization responsible for oversight and direction of The Daily Beast raises questions about the publication’s journalistic independence and their commitment to factual and ethical reporting on current events and topics of public interest. Given their slanderous and incorrect reporting on the Clinton-Silsby scandal, it seems clear that they do not hold these values in high regard.Since her release from detention in Haiti, Laura Silsby has returned to Idaho. In 2015, she married and took the last name Gayler. Silsby is currently employed by software company AlertSense as their Vice President of Marketing. AlertSense works with the Federal Government on FEMA’s Integrated Public Alert & Warning System (IPAWS). One of IPAWS functions is to issue Amber Alerts during kidnapping events."…

In reply to by jeff montanye

fleur de lis DingleBarryObummer Tue, 07/04/2017 - 08:44 Permalink

Yep -- he and his siblings went to boarding school in Switzerland.So he and his screwball family are in Pyongyang because the DC Swamp wants them there no matter what they say.All this time the Kim psychos were doing the bidding of the NWO in some way, despite what MSM morons were telling us.The problem is that this current screwball has become a real loose cannon, and is letting the cat out of the bag.He is not inclined to take orders, since he thinks himself invincible.That is a massive mistake on his part because he is only there because he serves the vile purposes of the NWO. And only as long as he does as he is told and stays within certain boundaries.He serves at the pleasure of the DC Swamp and the NWO.In exchange for whatever he provided the NWO, he and his screwball family were lavished with fabulous benefits and permission to abuse the North Korean people in any way they liked.All they had to do was keep a relatively low profile.But now Kim is wandering off the reservation, making noise, attracting too much negative attention, raising questions, and creating all kinds of problems, so this will be taken care of one way or another.Maybe he will be swapped out for another family member that the NWO considers more cooperative, or maybe a complete change -- who knows.But rest assured that the Swamp is working diligently at the drawing board.If they want him gone he's gone.   

In reply to by DingleBarryObummer

Snípéir_Ag_Obair DingleBarryObummer Tue, 07/04/2017 - 08:10 Permalink

google "Israel North Korea"

this is an excellent essay:

The 30k US troops in SK would be mostly dead inside of 20 minutes if a hot war started.

They are a costly token force unwanted by most South Koreans (at least those under say 60) and a huge irritant for the NK regime.

It goes without saying we can't have, and the Russians, Chinese, and others can not tolerate a North Korea with nukes and ICBMs but the reason they have them is to prevent invasion/regime change.

Kim is not suicidal, and the best option is to try, anyway, some quid pro quo... stop work on the icbms, the US withdraws troops and agrees to end any joint exercise with South Korea, while still remaining committed to defending it if need be... but this was never going to mean any sort of land invasion anyway... the US military would take very heavy losses before an unwinnable guerilla war and the entry of Chinese troops, along with serious attacks on any US Navy boats within 1,000 miles.

A 'ratcheting down' may in fact be feasible, or would be, were our President and diplomats not blithering idiots, who have a facile, cartoonish view of NK and indeed of the US role in the Korean war (take a glance at the article).

The US committed Dresden-like war crimes all over the North, and government brainwashing aside, those are surely stories passed down from father to son.

Next best thing is to help the Chinese decapitate the regime (like a few dozen generals, with Kim) presuming they can't foster a palace coup... something, some have suggested, the CIA tried and failed.

A stickey wicket, certainly glad I'm not calling the plays... sure wish Trump and Mattis weren't.

Mattis is a fucking imbecile. He is a graver danger to American lives than either the Norks or the Iranians - I shit you not. Largely why he was selected, I think.

In reply to by DingleBarryObummer

Horse Pizzle (not verified) Snípéir_Ag_Obair Tue, 07/04/2017 - 08:25 Permalink

Your "dead inside 20 minutes" comment is fighting the last war that North Korea is prepared to fight.  The USArmy, Navy, Marines, and eleven divisions of the  South Korean Army are capable of taking out NK in five minutes.  We have the considerable support of SEATO militaries as well. 

In reply to by Snípéir_Ag_Obair

Snípéir_Ag_Obair Horse Pizzle (not verified) Tue, 07/04/2017 - 08:50 Permalink

You are *adorable*.

1 Marine could probably kill 20 gooks all by himself, right, Cherry?

And the contingent of US troops in SK surely would be mostly dead inside of 20 minutes... an assertion that would *not* come as a surprise to the fellas stationed there.

Could the US and allies 'win' a for real land war eventually (lets say in leas than 3 years/more than '5 minutes')?


But I have the feeling that *you* have no idea what 'winning' looks like.

In reply to by Horse Pizzle (not verified)