SEOUL – South Korea’s Defense Ministry described on Friday North Korea’s latest intercontinental ballistic missile test launch as successful, and said it was capable of travelling some 13,000 kilometers (8,078 miles).
Despite Pyongyang’s claims, the ministry doubted that the missile, which was fired on Wednesday, could successfully destroy a target.
A report released at the National Assembly on Friday found that, if fired at a normal angle, the missile would be able to fly more than 13,000 kilometers, which means it could reach Washington, as anticipated by several experts.
Fired at a steep angle, the latest intercontinental ballistic missile, called Hwasong-15, traveled 960 kilometers and reached a maximum height of about 4,475 kilometers, the highest altitude ever recorded by a North Korean missile, before coming down in the Sea of Japan.
The experts initially considered that the missile would not reach all of the US territory if equipped with a nuclear warhead, but according to a report by 38North released on Friday after analyzing Hwasong-15 images in detail, the Hwasong-15 can deliver a payload of up to one ton to any point on the US mainland.
However, both the Ministry of Defense and 38 North state that the missile’s accuracy has not been verified, nor if it would survive atmospheric reentry without disintegrating.