North Korea conducted another missile test at 6:30 am September 15 Korean time (early evening on September 14 in the US). Like the August 28 test, this test appears to have been a Hwasong-12 missile launched from a site near the Pyongyang airport. The missile followed a standard trajectory—rather than the highly lofted trajectories North Korea used earlier this year—and it flew over part of the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido (Fig. 1). Read more >
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August 29, 2017 12:27 PM EDT
Yesterday’s missile launch by North Korea is reported to have been launched from a site near the capitol city of Pyongyang (Sunan) and landed 2,700 kilometers (km) (1,700 miles) to the east after flying over part of the Japanese island of Hokkaido. The missile reportedly flew to a maximum altitude of about 550 km (340 miles), reaching Hokkaido after about eight minutes of flight and splashing down after 14 to 15 minutes. Read more >
July 28, 2017 2:19 PM EDT
Based on current information, today’s missile test by North Korea could easily reach the US West Coast, and a number of major US cities. Read more >
July 7, 2017 6:00 AM EDT
In a previous post, I estimated what North Korea could have learned from its May 14 Hwasong-12 missile test that is relevant to developing a reentry vehicle (RV) for a longer range missile.
I’ve updated the numbers in that post for the July 4 missile test (Table 1). In particular, I compare several measures of the heating experienced by the RV on the July 4 test to what would be experienced by the same RV on a 10,000 km-range missile on a standard trajectory (MET). Read more >
July 3, 2017 11:14 PM EDT
A missile of that range would need to fly on a very highly lofted trajectory to have such a long flight time.
Assuming a range of 950 km, then a flight time of 37 minutes would require it to reach a maximum altitude of more than 2,800 km (1700 miles).
So if the reports are correct, that same missile could reach a maximum range of roughly 6,700 km (4,160 miles) on a standard trajectory.
That range would not be enough to reach the lower 48 states or the large islands of Hawaii, but would allow it to reach all of Alaska.
There is not enough information yet to determine whether this launch could be done with a modified version of the Hwasong-12 missile that was launched on May 14.