It looks like all areas of the continental United States are now at risk of being a target of a North Korean ICBM:
North Korea launched an apparent new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) early Wednesday that reached an altitude of about 4,500 kilometers and traveled 960 kilometers before falling into the East Sea inside Japan’s Exclusive Economic Zone.
The missile launch, which broke a 75-day lull in the North’s provocations, drew strong condemnation from South Korea as well as the international community. (……)
“The ICBM Hwasong-15 type weaponry system is an intercontinental ballistic rocket tipped with super-large heavy warhead which is capable of striking the entire mainland of the U.S. ,” the statement said.
It added the new system has much greater advantages in its tactical and technological characteristics than the Hwasong-14 missile tested in July.
The repressive state launched Hwasong-14s twice, July 4 and 28. The first one flew 933 kilometers in 39 minutes and reached an altitude of 2,802 kilometers, while the second one flew 998 kilometers in 47 minutes after reaching an altitude of 3,724 kilometers. [Korea Times]
You can read more at the link, but experts report this ICBM if fired at a nominal trajectory could range 13,000 kilometers. That would put all areas of the continental United States within range.
Here is how the Blue House responded to the launch:
Soon after the test, President Moon Jae-in presided over a National Security Council meeting at Cheong Wa Dae, during which he strongly denounced the North for its “military brinkmanship.”
“North Korea must stop making reckless choices that will only lead to its isolation and collapse,” Moon said, urging the Kim regime to come to the negotiation table.
“The government will never sit back and watch these provocations,” he said.
The Chinese have issued their usual statement about how concerned they are after the launch:
China voiced its strong objection and concerns over North Korea’s latest missile test Wednesday, joining South Korea, the United States and Japan in denouncing the North’s first weapons test in nearly 11 weeks.
“China expresses its grave concerns about and opposition to North Korea’s missile launch activities,” foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said in a press briefing.
Referring to the U.N.’s ban on North Korea’s ballistic missile activity, the spokesman said, “There are clear regulations on North Korean ballistic missile launches in United Nations Security Council resolutions.”
He also said, “China wants North Korea to stop any action that escalates tension on the Korean Peninsula.” He called on “other concerned countries” to act cautiously and maintain peace and security in the regional community. [Yonhap]
At this point I wonder if the ROK and the Chinese just change the date on their press releases after North Korean provocations because the statements are similar after every incident.