The ballistic missile launched by North Korea on Tuesday reached an altitude of a whopping 2,800 miles, South Korea’s military said — more than 10 times higher than the International Space Station and way past the edge of the Earth’s atmosphere.
The missile was launched at a steep trajectory, meaning it went very high but not too far away from North Korea on the map. It splash landed in the Sea of Japan. But if such a missile were launched on a more horizontal trajectory, experts fear it could reach any target in the continental United States, and indeed the rest of the world.
It’s a new type of missile, which the regime is calling the Hwasong-15. It’s an upgrade to the Hwasong-14 which had a reach of up to 6,200 miles — enough to reach parts of the United States, but not all. The Hwasong-14 was first tested on July 4 2017.
The test marks a ramping up of North Korea’s nuclear armory and arsenal. President Donald Trump offered a relatively muted reaction to the latest missile test, saying simply, “we will take care of it.”