WASHINGTON (CBSNewYork) — North Korea on Tuesday tested what it claimed to be an intercontinental ballistic missile with the power possibly to reach Alaska.
As CBS News’ Mola Lenghi reported, the missile flew higher and longer than any previous test.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un celebrated his country’s latest missile test.
The missile flew for nearly 40 minutes and reached an altitude of about 1,500 miles before splashing into the Sea of Japan about 600 miles from the launch site.
With a projected range of more than 4,000 miles, it would be capable of hitting all of Alaska — but not the continental United States or Hawaii.
State television reported it was a Hwasong-14 intercontinental ballistic missile – and that would be a first.
Pentagon analysts said it was more likely an intermediate range missile.
“The missile didn’t go any further than any of their other missiles, so what they say isn’t the issue,” said Acting U.S. Ambassador to Australia James Carouso. “The issue is they keep doing it over and over again.”
President Donald Trump fired off a late-night tweet calling for China to step up its pressure on North Korea to end its nuclear weapons program. That is a move china appears unwilling to make.
During a call Monday with Chinese President Xi Jinping, the New York Times reports Trump warned Xi the U.S. is prepared to act on its own to deal with North Korea.
But former CIA deputy director Mike Morell said options are limited, and a military strike is off the table.
“There is no option to do that,” he said. “That wouldn’t start a second Korean War, and wouldn’t raise the possibility of him using nuclear weapons against his neighbors.”
China and Russia are proposing the U.S. and South Korea refrain from joint military exercises in the region in exchange for North Korea halting its tests.
The White House confirmed Tuesday that President Trump will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 Summit in Germany Friday.
The White House said it has no agenda for the talks, but North Korea is likely to come up.