About That Missile Launch: North Korea Is Now Capable Of Striking Washington D.C.

With a trajectory of 4500 km, the range on the latest missile is massive…

It may have only traveled a short distance from where it was launched to where it landed in the water, but the trajectory is a whole new beast:

 

Here’s what that trajectory looks like compared to prior launches:

BBC’s Tim Franks concurs:

Here’s what it means from David Wright of the UCS Global Security Program:

After more than two months without a missile launch, North Korea did a middle-of-the-night test (3:17 a.m. in Japan) today that appears to be its longest yet.

Reports are saying that the missile test was highly lofted and landed in the Sea of Japan some 960 km (600 miles) from the launch site. They are also saying the missile reached a maximum altitude of 4,500 km. This would mean that it flew for about 54 minutes, which is consistent with reports from Japan.

If these numbers are correct, then if flown on a standard trajectory rather than this lofted trajectory, this missile would have a range of more than 13,000 kilometers (km) (8,100 miles). This is significantly longer than North Korea’s previous long range tests, which flew on lofted trajectories for 37 minutes (July 4) and 47 minutes (July 28). Such a missile would have more than enough range to reach Washington, D.C., and in fact any part of the continental United States.

We do not know how heavy a payload this missile carried, but given the increase in range it seems likely that it carried a very light mock warhead. If true, that means it would be incapable of carrying a nuclear warhead to this long distance, since such a warhead would be much heavier.

Curiously, Fox News is focusing more on a grid-down, electro-magnetic pulse angle:

North Korea’s launch Wednesday (Tuesday in the U.S.) of an intercontinental ballistic missile should focus our attention on the threat of the rogue nation launching an electromagnetic pulse attack that could wipe out the electric power grid serving millions of people in the U.S. and Canada.

Such an attack has been downplayed by some and made the subject of fear-mongering by others over the years. But while it sounds like the plot of a science fiction movie, an electromagnetic pulse attack has become a larger issue in past few months due to North Korea’s missile tests and stated goal of developing the capability to mount such a devastating strike.

An electromagnetic pulse is a side effect of an atmospheric nuclear detonation that could potentially damage or destroy all electrical devices and the electric grid within the line of sight of the blast. The higher the explosion, the wider the effect. A North Korean missile carrying a nuclear weapon exploding over the U.S. could cause an electromagnetic pulse.                .

Here’s the official State Department briefing on the launch (fast forward to the 03:03:14 mark to get to where it starts):


 

About the Author

U.S. Army Iraq War Combat Veteran Paul “Half Dollar” Eberhart has an AS in Information Systems and Security from Western Technical College and a BA in Spanish from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Paul dived into gold & silver in 2009 as a natural progression from the prepper community. He is self-studied in the field of economics, an active amateur trader, and a Silver Bug at heart.

Paul’s free book Gold & Silver 2.0: Tales from the Crypto can be found in the usual places like Amazon, Apple iBooks & Google Play, or online at PaulEberhart.com. Paul’s Twitter is @Paul_Eberhart.

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