North Korea Launches First ICBM
U.S. Territory Now in Range
July 8, 2017
On July 4th, the following related Flash message was sent to AlertsUSA subscriber mobile devices:
7/4 – Flwg test launch of long range ballistic missile (poss ICBM) hours ago, N. Korean state run media threatens preemptive nuclear strike on the US. Monitoring.
What You Need To Know
On ten occasions this week AlertsUSA subscribers were notified via SMS messages to their mobile devices regarding security matters. Most important for this update, on Wednesday subscribers were informed of new threats of attack on the U.S. by N. Korea following the launch of what has been determined to be their first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).
North Korea’s central news agency has released a video of the launch, stating the missile flew for 39 min and achieved a maximum altitude of 2,802 kilometers (or 1741 miles) before impacting in the Sea of Japan 933 km (or 580 miles) downrange and within Japan’s 200-mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ).Western defense and intelligence trajectory reconstructions generally agree with these performance figures. For an altitude comparison, the International Space Station orbits the Earth at an average altitude of just 250 miles.
The so-called “lofted” trajectory the missile traveled is intentional in order to prevent overflight of neighboring countries while still demonstrating high performance. Analysts indicate that if the missile were fired on a more efficient trajectory it could achieve a range of up to 8000 kilometers, or about 5000 miles. This easily puts Alaska, Hawaii and possibly parts of the Pacific Northwest within striking distance.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has confirmed that the rocket was indeed an intercontinental ballistic missile, calling it a “new escalation of the threat to the United States, our allies and partners.”
United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley told a meeting of the U.N. Security Council that North Korea’s actions were “quickly closing off the possibility of a diplomatic solution” and the United States was prepared to defend itself and its allies.
“One of our capabilities lies with our considerable military forces. We will use them if we must, but we prefer not to have to go in that direction.”
South Korea’s defense minister Han Min-koo this week warned parliament that there was a “high” possibility of Pyongyang carrying out another nuclear test in the short term given their history of conducting nuclear experiments following long-range missile tests.
While it may be easy to dismiss N. Korean threats of attack on the U.S., it should be noted that with each nuclear and missile test, their capabilities continue to improve. Of equal concern is that once the reclusive regime achieves the ability to miniaturize their nuclear weapons, it is highly likely they will be made available for sale to the highest bidder, as is the case with all of their other domestically produced weapons systems, including chemical weapons used in Syria.
AlertsUSA continues to monitor the overall domestic and international threat environment and will immediately notify service subscribers via SMS messages of new alerts, warnings and advisories or any developments which signal a change the overall threat picture for American citizens as events warrant.
OTHER ALERTS FROM THIS WEEK NOT DETAILED IN THIS NEWSLETTER ISSUE
7/6 – Delta #129, Seattle to Beijing, turns back after passenger attempted to force entry into the cockpit. 3 injured during incident. Now on ground. Monitoring…
7/6 – AlertsUSA monitoring evac and lockdown of Hanscom AFB, Massachusetts. Truck security check reveals poss explosives. FBI on scene. Add’l alerts as warranted.
7/5 – Islamic State social media channels urging attacks on the Wimbledon tennis tournament underway in London, incl the sharing of facility maps. Vigilance urged.
7/3 – AlertsUSA monitoring shooting incident in Toulouse, FR. Man & woman in Arab dress dismounted motorbike and fired into crowd. 1 dead, several injured.
7/3 – Boston police rpt incident occurred at taxi staging area outside Boston Logan Intl airport. ~10 injured. Driver in custody. Add’l alerts as warranted.
7/3 – AlertsUSA monitoring reports of poss vehicular attack in E. Boston, near airport. Mass casualty incident declared w serious injuries. Add’l alerts forthcoming.
7/2 – AlertsUSA monitoring evac and halt of all train service @ WTC, NYC following discovery of suspicious package. Add’l alerts as warranted.
7/1 – Gov of Portugal issues EU-wide terror alert following theft of explosives, grenade launchers and grenades from National Arsenal of Tancos. AlertsUSA monitoring.
7/1 – AlertsUSA monitoring evac at Charles de Gaulle Airport, NW Paris. All gates closed & flights grounded over unspec security matter. Add’l alerts as warranted.
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World News Roundup
July 8, 2017
Other Developments We Are Following
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US military will finally start encrypting soldiers’ emails
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Now is the summer of Britain’s discontent
Islamist recruiters in Germany ‘go right for young people’s hearts’
Belgium manhunt as Brussels raids prompt fears of attack
G-20 clashes leave dozens of officers and activists injured
EU countries decline to help Italy with Mediterranean refugee crisis
Russia claims N. Korea launch not ICBM, objects to condemnation statement.
U.S. taps ex-envoy to NATO Volker to resolve Ukraine crisis
Russia’s troops just carried out a massive test airstrike on a “simulated” foe
Trump welcomed by cheering, flag-waving supporters in Warsaw
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Qatar is rich enough to face threats of the blockade
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Israel outraged as UNESCO declares Hebron, West Bank, a world heritage site
Car bombs in Egypt’s Sinai target soldiers
Egypt’s Foreign Minister blames Qatar for ‘human suffering’ in Syria, Libya.
European parliament votes to suspend Turkey EU accession talks
The Rubicon Is Crossed in North Korea
U.S. plans to test THAAD missile defenses as North Korea tensions mount
SecState: Not many good North Korea options if pressure fails
Chinese, Russian media lock arms to challenge Western press
US must have stomach for sanctions on Pyongyang and Beijing
What Is Stopping a War With North Korea? –
S. Korea Bomb Shelters Forgotten With No Food, Water
Himalayan Stand-Off Makes for an Awkward G-20 for Xi and Modi
Beijing denounces U.S. B-1B bomber flight over South China Sea
China’s first operational aircraft carrier Liaoning arrives in Hong Kong.
Navy to train with Vietnam amid rising tensions with China
White House Limits Pentagon on Afghan Troop Level
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Travel Security Update
The U.S. Dept. of State is the authoritative federal source for information on the security situation at travel destinations worldwide. With tensions rapidly increasing in most regions, readers planning on international travel, even to such common destinations as Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean Islands, are strongly encouraged to do a little research on the security situation prior to departure.
Latest USGOV Travel Alerts and Warnings
Additional Sources of Travel Guidance
Canada Dept. of Foreign Affairs
Australia Dept. of Foreign Affairs
UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office
Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.
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