North Korea's newest ICBM might be able to reach anywhere in America

North Korea fires ballistic missile over Japan.
(Image credit: South Korean Defense Ministry via Getty Images)

North Korea launched an intercontinental ballistic missile early Wednesday local time that flew 2,800 miles into the air, or about 10 times higher than the International Space Station. It "went higher, frankly, than any previous shot they've taken," Defense Secretary James Mattis told reporters, adding that Pyongyang's goal is missiles "that can threaten everywhere in the world." If it had been aimed at a standard trajectory, the new ICBM would have a range of more than 8,100 miles, or "more than enough range to reach Washington, D.C.," which is 6,850 miles from Pyongyang, said David Wright at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

North Korea lauded the launch on state TV, claiming it can now "load the heaviest warhead and strike anywhere in the mainland United States." Experts disputed that North Korea could reach the U.S. with a warhead yet. "Perhaps they can hit Washington, D.C., with this, but they can't fight a war with it," said German missile expert Markus Schiller. But South Korea's unification minister, Cho Myoung-gyon, said Pyongyang may be ready with its nuclear program in as soon as a year. You can learn more about North Korea's third ICBM test in the Fox News report below. Peter Weber

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Peter Weber, The Week US

Peter has worked as a news and culture writer and editor at The Week since the site's launch in 2008. He covers politics, world affairs, religion and cultural currents. His journalism career began as a copy editor at a financial newswire and has included editorial positions at The New York Times Magazine, Facts on File, and Oregon State University.