"It Can Reach Washington, DC": Latest North Korean ICBM Can Hit Anywhere In The Continental US

There was something different about today's ballistic missile test: according to a preliminary analysis from the Pentagon, the rocket was an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile, which was reported to have flown for 50 minutes, on a very high trajectory reaching 4,500 km above the earth (more than ten times higher than the orbit of Nasa’s International Space Station) before coming down nearly 1,000 km from the launch site off the west coast of Japan.

This would make it the most powerful of the three ICBM’s North Korea has tested so far. Furthermore, the mobile night launch appeared aimed at testing new capabilities and demonstrating that Pyongyang would be able to strike back to any attempt at a preventative strike against the regime.

“The missile was launched from Sain Ni, North Korea, and traveled about 1,000 km before splashing down in the Sea of Japan, within Japan’s economic exclusion zone. We are working with our interagency partners on a more detailed assessment of the launch,” Pentagon spokesman, Col Robert Manning said.

This is concerning for one big reason: according to General Mattis, the North Korean ICBM "went higher, frankly, than any previous" and "North Korea can basically threaten everywhere in the world." This was confirmed by North Korea missile analyst, Shea Cotton, who cited Allthingsnuclear author David Wright, and who told the BBC that the initial estimates of the ICBM test mean that North Korea can now reach New York and Washington DC.

How did North Korea develop such an advanced ICBM? Here, as Michael Duitsman, research associate at the center for nonproliferation studies recalls "the DPRK reportedly tested a new engine a few weeks ago, so #2 makes sense. The second stage burn time on the first two HS-14 tests was crazy long, so it could benefit from a different engine."

Other experts had similar ominous conclusions: here is Vipin Narang, polisci professor at MIT, who noted the following quick implications from the DPRK ICBM night launch: 

Technical:
1. They want us to know they can hit eastern seaboard
2. Which means they probably got a higher thrust 2nd stage working

 

Operational:
1. Night launch helps with readiness, survivability, penetration.

His conclusion: "It's real folks."

A good visual summary of the new ICBM range is showin below: as noted, its estimated range covers all of US. 10,000km (yellow) 13,000km.

Finally, here is opinion of David Wright, physicist and co-director of the UCS Global Security Program, whose insight on North Korean launches has emerged as one of the most informative over the past year.

North Korea’s Longest Missile Test Yet

 

After more than two months without a missile launch, North Korea did a middle-of-the-night test (3:17 am local time) today that appears to be its longest yet.

 

Reports are saying that the missile test was highly lofted and landed in the Sea of Japan some 960 km (600 miles) from the launch site. They are also saying the missile reached a maximum altitude of 4,500 km. This would mean that it flew for about 54 minutes, which is consistent with reports from Japan.

 

If these numbers are correct, then if flown on a standard trajectory rather than this lofted trajectory, this missile would have a range of more than 13,000 km (8,100 miles). This is significantly longer than North Korea’s previous long range tests, which flew on lofted trajectories for 37 minutes (July 4) and 47 minutes (July 28). Such a missile would have more than enough range to reach Washington, DC, and in fact any part of the continental United States.

 

We do not know how heavy a payload this missile carried, but given the increase in range it seems likely that it carried a very light mock warhead. If true, that means it would not be capable of carrying a nuclear warhead to this long distance, since such a warhead would be much heavier. 

The question now is what Trump meant when late on Tuesday, in response to a question how the US would respond to the latest ICBM launch, he said "we will handle it."

Comments

Occident Mortal toady Tue, 11/28/2017 - 16:59 Permalink

On a serious note. North Korea must have some fucking awesome engineers! A 3rd world shit hole with zero resources and international trade embargoes in place and yet they have completed the manhatten project AND the space race simultaneously?? WTAF?Hats off to these guys. Someone over there is clever as fuck.

In reply to by toady

jeff montanye Captain Chlamydia Wed, 11/29/2017 - 03:49 Permalink

why is that spam?  most of what the biblicism institute says about contemporary matters is true.  about the only thing the u.s. government (ok not the whole country) is good at and seems concerned about through both the bush and obama administrations, note both parties represented, is setting the mideast on fire for the benefit of israel.certainly not for the benefit of the u.s.  i think that's one of the major reasons trump was elected.

In reply to by Captain Chlamydia

scrappy Samuel Culper Tue, 11/28/2017 - 18:04 Permalink

Some say...North Korea is nothing but a cardboard-cutout construct of the CIA. (Rogue CIA, not all, My Comment) Didn't people learn anything from 9-11? If a massive explosion or some other catastrophic event occurs in the US, you can guarantee that it won't have anything to do with North Korea. Our enemy is within the gates.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CuKKAzvANwE

In reply to by Samuel Culper

E5 scrappy Wed, 11/29/2017 - 07:34 Permalink

This is an assymertrical opening.  Create a power vacuum and no one will know who nuked us.  The Sun could do it and we would believe it was NK.Our government is notorious for getting unintended consequences (blowback) from their actions.Anyone detonates a nuke in DC or Miami, and no one will really know what to believe in a political power vacuum.

In reply to by scrappy

jeff montanye StychoKiller Wed, 11/29/2017 - 04:45 Permalink

if true, the test shows long range and significant accuracy:"Reports are saying that the missile test was highly lofted and landed in the Sea of Japan some 960 km (600 miles) from the launch site. They are also saying the missile reached a maximum altitude of 4,500 km. This would mean that it flew for about 54 minutes, which is consistent with reports from Japan. If these numbers are correct, then if flown on a standard trajectory rather than this lofted trajectory, this missile would have a range of more than 13,000 km (8,100 miles)."

In reply to by StychoKiller

jeff montanye 338 Wed, 11/29/2017 - 03:58 Permalink

maybe the cia helped them.  they gave osama his start.  made a decent beard for the mossad when it was time for 9-11.the cold war proved pretty much that wars with nuclear armed opponents don't happen.  thus north korea's progress into that state is really pro-peace.  regime change for nk is far more likely to come eventually via peaceful negotiation with china and south korea.  the u.s.'s best contribution is probably to stop shouting and waving a sword.

In reply to by 338

Crawdaddy Occident Mortal Tue, 11/28/2017 - 19:30 Permalink

True - the guys who have no lights at night because they are so poor yet supposedly threaten the country with the biggest defense budget. Does not compute.Da Norks, like the DA Castros of yesteryear, are a cinematic fiction created to scare the plebes. And like Castro that shit continues to work because the peeps be stupit.The people who behind these stories never tire of telling us the is a boogyman under every rock. Magic 8 Ball say it will continue to work long after we are gone.

In reply to by Occident Mortal

Marigold Occident Mortal Wed, 11/29/2017 - 04:30 Permalink

Koreans have considerably higher average IQ's than Americans . ..read the Bell Curve and the US continues to dilute its average along with parts of Europe by admitting a lot of Africans and Arabs. Great to see little North Korea stand up the the bully in the playground. They remember that the US committed genoside on them by eliminating 30% of their population during tke Korean war.

In reply to by Occident Mortal