North Korea’s successful missile test-launch signals major advances in developing an intercontinental ballistic missile, such as mastery of re-entry technology and better engine performance key to targeting the United States, experts say.
The isolated country has been developing a long-range missile capable of striking the mainland United States mounted with a nuclear warhead. That would require a flight of 8,000 km (4,800 miles) or more and technology to ensure a warhead’s stable re-entry into the atmosphere.
The new strategic ballistic missile named Hwasong-12, fired on Sunday at the highest angle to avoid affecting neighboring countries’ security, flew 787 km (489 miles) on a trajectory reaching an altitude of 2,111.5 km (1,312 miles), the North’s official KCNA said.
The reported details were largely consistent with South Korean and Japanese assessments that it flew further and higher than an intermediate-range missile (IRBM) tested in February from the same region, northwest of Pyongyang.
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