WASHINGTON (AP) – This morning, the Pentagon confirmed reports that North Korea launched a ballistic missile.
A Pentagon spokesman says the U.S. believes the missile launched by North Korea was an intercontinental ballistic missile. That means that in theory it had enough range to reach portions of U.S. territory.
The spokesman, Capt. Jeff Davis, said Friday the missile did not pose a threat to North America but traveled about 620 miles before splashing down in the Sea of Japan.
Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters that officials are analyzing the apparent launch and that he has called a meeting of the National Security Council.
The missile was launched on a lofted, or heightened, trajectory, limiting the lateral distance it traveled. Davis did not elaborate on US calculations, but the theoretical range of a ballistic missile can be estimated from the altitude it achieved and the lateral distance it traveled. To be of ICBM range, the missile would have to be capable of traveling at least 5,500 kilometers.
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