North Korea Appears to Launch Missile with 6,700 km Range

, co-director and senior scientist | July 3, 2017, 11:14 pm EDT
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Current reports of North Korea’s July 4 missile test say the missile had a range of “more that 930 km” (580 miles), and flew for 37 minutes (according to US Pacific Command).

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.

Posted in: Missiles and Missile Defense Tags: , ,

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  • Angeles Mena

    I can guess North Korea is poor because of their effort on nuclear weapons, instead of building a better country. Socialist? No, they`re not socialist. They are still living in an archaic monarchy, that`s the point.

    • Pacemaker4

      guess you missed the part where Russia wrote off 9 billion of their debt last year? Seems SK wants a russian gas pipeline..and NK is willing to let it through..

  • Scott Hanley

    Thanks for the analysis. Based on the data from the reports, an apogee of 1,700 miles seems very high for an ICBM. How confident are we in the original numbers?

    • GreenTom

      Seen it reported that they test on high loft trajectories to limit range. Shots at range would not go as high.

  • bakabomb

    Something interesting seems to be happening. Media are reporting the apogee of 1740 miles as if it had been captured on, e.g., tracking radar and passed along to the reporters. Reading the above, I get the opposite impression: this value was the output of a typical modeling question — “assuming flight time was 37 seconds and assuming range was close to 600 miles, what would the apogee calculate to be?”

    And this is the value that it seems is being front-loaded into media reports as if it had actually been recorded. Well, WAS it actually recorded or is everyone getting it from here?

    • Pacemaker4

      psst if you can reach orbit, the whole world is in range/ So if their alt was 4x ISS….then i think they can attain orbit.

  • Q~

    Yonhap News cites the data as coming from “S. Korea military.”

  • UsernameCensored

    1700 miles? Did the space station wave at it on the way past? These numbers sound like nonsense.

  • Chip Cogswelle

    When you draw 4000-5000 mile radii from N. Korea, you’ll see there are many nations within reach of these missiles, including a huge chunk of Russia, India, and Pakistan (all 3 have nuclear weapons), but barely touching U.S. territory in the Aleutian Islands.

    North Korea has nothing to gain economically, and couldn’t occupy new territory–their strategy is to threaten, terrorize, and as a last resort destroy.Hopefully those countries in the “bullseye” can form some sort of coalition (with China) to blockade and totally isolate N. Korea. In my old age I have learned that it’s best not to mess with unstable people who have nothing to lose, e.g. N. Korea. Unfortunately, most of what Trump seems to do is “mess with”, without a clear plan coordinated within the U.S. Gov’t and military.

    • Pacemaker4

      “unstable people who have nothing to lose”
      Fact: there have been 248 armed conflicts since WW2 and US started 201 of them.
      Own it.