North Korea said on Tuesday that it has successfully test-fired an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICMB) and if proven it would have had made another major stride towards mastering a technology to fly a missile beyond the U.S. territory of Alaska.
The North’s state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported that it has successfully test-launched Hwasong-14, a newly-developed ICBM at 9 a.m. on Tuesday. The missile was fired from the northwest area and flew for 39 minutes according to the planned flight orbit before reaching target waters in the East Sea, it said. The missile reached an altitude of 2,802 kilometers (1,741 miles) and flew 933 kilometers (580 miles) - the farthest yet. The last launch on May 14, a Hwasong-12 missile flew 2,111 kilometers high and landed at 787 kilometers far.
The North Korean state media said that the test launch was conducted based on maximum vertical fire system and that it did not negatively affect the safety of neighboring countries.
Missile experts believe that if the North had fired the missile at a standard angle, it would have been able to fly more than 8,000 to 9,000 kilometers, far enough to reach the mainland U.S.
By Ahn Doo-won
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