On Tuesday, North Korea shook the entire world with news of having successfully conducted their 1st long-range missile test and claimed that this missile can reach probably any place in the world.
According to the Korea Central Television state broadcaster, the test reached a height or 1,741 miles or 2,802 kilometers, which would make it the highest altitude that any North Korean missile has reached ever.
North Korea has claimed that this missile also named as Hwasong-14 is an ICBM or the intercontinental ballistic missile which has very obviously put the United States on high alert as this means that Pyongyang has the means to hit mainland of US.
Here are 10 facts about North Korea testing out the intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that you might not have known about:
1. July 4th Date of Testing
North Korea seems to have perfectly timed the date of the test to clash with one of the biggest events of US that is 4th of July their Independence Day.
KCNA which is North Korea’s state news agency said that their leader Kim Jong-un proclaimed this test as a ‘gift’ to Americans on their independence day.
It should also be kept in mind that it was only a few days ago that US President Donald Trump had conversed with Chinese and Japanese leaders about the fraught situation with North Korea and the threat it represents before the upcoming G20 meeting.
2. US Secretary of State Confirms The News
Although many considered this news just be another hoax or exaggeration, it was all turned around when the US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson confirmed the news that North Korea has officially tested out a long-range missile that according to experts could reach till Alaska.
Tillerson was quoted calling this news a “new escalation of the threat” and also added that Washington the capital, “will never accept a nuclear-armed North Korea”.
3. Why Are They Targeting US?
Not a new question but one with many different answers is why exactly North Korea targeting the US so insistently.
One reason is the very obvious and public powerful place that the US has in the international community and one of the few countries that have enough resources and power to be a big threat to North Korea.
Second would be the alliance that US has with South Korea and the damage the U.S. Air Force did to the capital during the Korean War. Nuclear weapons, in that case, are not only cheap but also effective in the destruction that they can cause.
4. Japan And China Are Also At Risk
Apart from U.S. other potential areas that should fear this missile and the possibility that North Korea could have this much firepower would be Japan and even previous ally China.
Japan is understandable considering it has been a U.S. ally while the situation with China is slowing changing. Although North Korea used to be on okay terms with the Chinese but it’s frosty between them as well.
5. Does U.S. Have An ICBM?
The United States at the moment have 2 active ICBMs called the Minuteman III and UGM-133 Trident II.
Recently, US also successfully conducted their first-ever missile defence test in May only which involved a simulated attack on California by an ICBM.
And on Wednesday, both United States and South Korea held military drills in order to show their missile strength.
6. Which Other Countries Have ICBM?
Currently, apart from the United States and North Korea, there are a few other countries who also have ICBMs in their arsenal. They are India, Russia, China, France, and Israel. If you want to check out a more detailed list of what ICBMs these countries possess and their status, then check out the full list here.
7. Speed Of ICBM
The speed of an ICBM cannot be determined as it constantly changes the speed and altitude. But an average estimated speed of an ICBM would be 4 miles per second with a minimum range of about 3,400 miles.
Another thing that can affect the speed of an ICBM is the warhead’s weight and size, as when the warhead makes an entry into the earth atmosphere it must break through the air resistance, which can slow down the speed from an initial 6-7km/sec.
8. North Korea Is Led By Dictatorship
One must also keep in mind that North Korea is led by a dictatorship, which means that the country is not bound by any international relations and or political pressure from other world leaders.
The usual laws of rationality and MAD do not apply to North Korea because they aren’t led by a leader accountable for international questioning. Any military action, big or small taken by the US or its allies will be met with swift retaliatory action in the form of ballistic missiles which may or may not be nukes.
9. What Is The Purpose Of ICBM?
The basic purpose of an ICBM which is a long-range missile is to carry a nuclear warhead to the intended target.
The name itself gives away the aim of the missile being that it can carry the nuclear warhead over continents and oceans and create mass destruction.
But if you want to specifically talk about the North Korean ICBM and its purpose, then it is two-fold, the first being a psychological impact on the American people. And the second is that with an ICBM at hand, North Korea will have a leverage over their dealings with South Korea which could also turn to creating a divide between Seoul and Washington.
10. Effect Or Impact Of ICBM
The effects of an ICBM are dependent on how powerful the nuclear warhead it is carrying is. But according to reports, in the engine test done in 2016 by North Korea, the flames created a translucent pinky-purple colour which indicates towards a fuel-oxidizer combination that has the potential to not only reach the West Coast of the U.S. but even have an impact on the East Coast.
North Korea has created the ICBM to nuclearly annihilate the mainlands of America with an assumption that it will surpass the West Coast and even touch the further ends of East Coast.
However, there are still discussions going on about whether this is viable or not.
The ICBM also creates a psychological impact on the owner country in thinking they are invincible.
North Korea and the United States both have given their own reactions to this event, with the North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un going as far as to give an all out threat to reduce the city of Manhattan “to ashes” and that he will “destroy the entire US territory” with nuclear attack.
On the other hand, President Trump has given his own reaction with these tweets:
North Korea has just launched another missile. Does this guy have anything better to do with his life? Hard to believe that South Korea…..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 4, 2017
….and Japan will put up with this much longer. Perhaps China will put a heavy move on North Korea and end this nonsense once and for all!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 4, 2017
Image Credits: Google Images