The North Korean intercontinental ballistic missile launched on Friday could have covered a distance of about 15,000 kilometers and reached the continental US on its normal trajectory, Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada told reporters.
“Calculations based on flight trajectories show that the range [of the missile] could exceed 15,000 km, depending on the weight of the warhead and other factors. Thus, the US mainland is in range,” he said.
Hamada said that according to preliminary data, the missile flew about 1,000 kilometers at a maximum altitude of 6,000 kilometers, that is, it followed a steep trajectory. It was in the air for about 69 minutes and landed roughly within Japan’s exclusive economic zone 200 kilometers west of the island of Oshima-Oshima, belonging to the northern prefecture of Hokkaido.
The missile launch came a day after North Korean Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui said that Pyongyang would respond in direct proportion to the strengthening of the US deterrence that the leaders of the Republic of Korea, the US and Japan had agreed upon during the trilateral summit in Cambodia.