Speed Reads

North Korea

U.S. analysts confirm North Korean ICBM could reach parts of the U.S. mainland

North Korea tested an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) Friday, the 14th missile test Pyongyang has conducted this year and its second ICBM test. North Korean state media reported leader Kim Jong Un took "great satisfaction" in the test and and claimed Pyongyang can now target the "entire" U.S. mainland with a "large-sized, heavy nuclear warhead."

Early reports from U.S. analysts are more measured, suggesting the western half of the continental United States would theoretically be in range depending on the weight of the missile load. A heavy warhead would considerably shorten the missile's maximum flight distance. The first ICBM North Korea tested could only go as far as Alaska.

President Trump's response promised the U.S. "will take all necessary steps to ensure the security of the American homeland and protect our allies in the region," while South Korea indicated diplomatic engagement with Pyongyang is now less likely. For more on how the U.S. ought to handle North Korea, check out this analysis from The Week's Harry J. Kazianis.