Trigger-Happy North Korea Fires Off Another ICBM

Ryan Pickrell | China/Asia Pacific Reporter

North Korea fired a powerful ballistic missile Friday, demonstrating dangerous new capabilities.

The missile was launched from Jagang Province, northern North Korea, at around midnight, according to South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff. It flew for 45 minutes, soaring to a maximum altitude of at least 3,700 km and covering a distance of 1,000 km, before splashing down in the sea.

Kim Jong Un has been advancing his weapons program at an accelerated rate this year. North Korea has tested new short-, medium-, intermediate-, and long-range missiles, as well as surface-to-air and coastal defense cruise missiles.

The North is believed to possess an intercontinental ballistic missile that can range Alaska, Hawaii, and parts of the West Coast. It tested the Hwasong-14 ICBM for the first time July 4.

The Pentagon recently detected signs of an impending missile test, spotting launch equipment for North Korea’s new ICBM. The flight time suggested a long-range missile, possibly one with a range longer than the one tested earlier this month. The Pentagon assesses that the weapon is an ICBM.

South Korea says that the weapon is more advanced than the one tested earlier this month. Experts believe that the weapon could range most of the continental U.S.

The launch comes one day after the 64th anniversary of the signing of the Korean Armistice Agreement.

This post will be updated as new information becomes available.

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