North Korea test-fired its second intercontinental ballistic missile in less than a month late Friday, with experts concluding that the launch flew higher and longer than the first and now puts a large chunk of the United States — including Chicago and Los Angeles — within range of Pyongyang’s ever-improving weapons systems.
Japan’s Defense Ministry said the missile, launched at 11:42 p.m. Friday from Mupyong-ni in northern Jagang Province, around 60 kilometers (37 miles) from North Korea’s border with China, reached an estimated height of more than 3,500 km and traveled about 1,000 km, landing inside Japan’s exclusive economic zone, some 150 km northwest of Okushiri Island, a tiny islet about 18 km off the coast of Hokkaido.
The rare nighttime launch was fired on a very high or “lofted” trajectory, which limited the distance it traveled.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told an emergency news conference in the early hours of Saturday morning that the missile flew for about 45 minutes, a flight that would put it about five minutes longer than the test of its earlier ICBM, known as the Hwasong-14, on July 4. (Read more from “North Korea Fires Another Ballistic Missile” HERE)