29 July 2017

News Story: North Korea may have just shown a capability to strike the continental US

A presumed North Korean ICBM Launcher
By: Tara Copp , Aaron Mehta , Andrew Tilghman

The specter of war loomed over the Korean Peninsula Friday as the U.S. Army and its South Korean allies fired a barrage of large missiles into the waters off the South Korean coastline, an “exercise” intended to be a warning and a direct response to North Korea’s test of an effective intercontinental ballistic missile earlier Friday morning.

The Army fired 13-foot-long missiles from the Army Tactical Missile System, or ATACMS, a long-range surface-to-surface precision-strike weapon, into South Korea’s territorial waters. according to a statement from the Korea-based U.S. 8th Army

The test came just hours after North Korea’s test of an ICBM which analysts said for the first time displayed the capability to exceed 10,000 km in range, a distance capable of potentially threatening New York or San Diego.

Following the launch Friday morning, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Joe Dunford, and Commander, U.S. Pacific Command, Adm. Harry Harris called the Republic of Korea Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman, Gen. Lee Sun-jin, according to the Pentagon.

An earlier live-fire exercise with RoK Hyunmoo-II (left) and
ATACMS (right, background) missile launchers
“During the call Dunford and Harris expressed the ironclad commitment to the U.S.-Republic of Korea alliance,” a Pentagon release stated. ”The three leaders also discussed military response options.” Harris joined Dunford in his Pentagon office to make the phone call.

The ATACMS missile launch was a “combined training event to exercise assets countering North Korea’s missile launch/nuclear test,” the Army statement said. 

Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt. Jeff Davis issued an statement on the launch from the Defense Department. 

“The U.S. Department of Defense detected and tracked a single North Korea missile launch today at about 10:41 a.m. [Eastern Daylight Time],” said Davis, reading the official statement. “We assess that this missile was an intercontinental ballistic missile, as had been expected.”

Read the full story at DefenseNews