North Korea test launches missile with range to strike U.S.

Japanese media reports of the missile launch. ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP via Getty Images

North Korea launched an intercontinental ballistic missile on Friday, its second missile test in two days, CNN reports.

The missile was launched around 10:15 a.m. local time and likely landed in Japan’s “exclusive economic zone,” roughly 130 miles west of Oshima Oshima, a Japanese island.

“North Korea is continuing to carry out provocative actions at frequency never seen before,” Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Friday. “I want to restate that we cannot accept such actions.” The ICBM did not fly over Japan, and was reportedly North Korea’s second-most powerful to date.

If launched at a normal angle (Friday’s test was deliberately steep), flight data indicated the ICBM could theoretically reach anywhere in the U.S., The New York Times reports.

“The ICBM-class ballistic missile launched this time could have a range of over 15,000 kilometers when calculated based on the flight distance of this ICBM,” Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada said in a statement. “It depends on the weight of the warhead, but in that case, the U.S. mainland would be included in the range.”

Still, “North Korea has never demonstrated that its ICBM warhead can survive the heat and friction when it re-enters the Earth’s atmosphere after soaring into space,” the Times writes, per missile experts.

In response to the launch, President Yoon Suk-yeol said South Korea will work to strengthen ties with the U.S., as well as its overall “defense posture,” CNN summarizes.

“The government will not tolerate North Korea’s provocations,” Yoon’s office said.

Vice President Kamala Harris, who is in Thailand for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting, also condemned the launched, per CNN.

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