North Korea's Kim Jong-Un: ICBM a gift for 'American bas***ds'

05 Jul 2017 | By Abheet Sethi
Can US defend against North Korean missile attack?

North Korean state news said the country has tested an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of delivering a "large, heavy nuclear warhead" which can survive re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere.

It quoted leader Kim Jong-Un as saying the "American bas***ds would be not very happy with this gift sent on the July 4 anniversary," marking the US Independence Day.

In context: Can US defend against North Korean missile attack?

04 Jul 2017N.Korea tests a missile that can reach 'anywhere in world'

On July 4, North Korea said it has successfully tested a long-range nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

It said the missile is capable of striking anywhere in the world.

North Korean state television reported that the Hwasong-14 missile's launch was overseen by leader Kim Jong-Un.

Earlier, the US military had said a North Korean ballistic missile had landed in the Sea of Japan.

AmericaUS: Latest long-range N.Korean missile test an 'escalation of threat'

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has confirmed that North Korea tested a long-range ballistic missile on July 4.

He said the test represented a "new escalation of the threat" to America and the world and that his country would "never accept a nuclear-armed North Korea."

But can America defend itself from nuclear-capable North Korean missiles? We explain.

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05 Jul 2017North Korea's Kim Jong-Un: ICBM a gift for 'American bas***ds'

ExplainedCan the missile really 'strike anywhere in the world'?

US-based expert David Wright said the latest North Korean missile, which is aimed at targeting America, was launched on a "very highly lofted" trajectory of over 2,800 km.

On a standard trajectory, the missile's maximum range would be 6,700km.

At that range, the missile would be able to reach the Alaska but not mainland USA which means it can't 'strike anywhere in the world.'

Experts say North Korean missile not nuclear-capable

Experts believe that despite the latest missile launch's apparent success, North Korea doesn't have the ability to miniaturize a nuclear warhead and fit it into a missile. This is crucial for making it a nuclear-capable missile. Experts also doubt the accuracy of the missile.

ProgressNorth Korea making great strides towards goal of targeting America

North Korea's ballistic missile test may not be able to reach continental America, but its launch demonstrates the regime has made considerable progress.

The BBC's diplomatic correspondent Jonathan Marcus wrote "it is possible that North Korea will achieve its goal during the Trump presidency."

This places great importance on the US' ballistic missile defense (BMD) program which can intercept such missiles.

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What is a ballistic missile defense system?

The US has spent billions on developing its ballistic missile defense system, which comprises of a global network of satellite sensors and other sensors capable of detecting and tracking missile launches. Interceptor missiles are launched to bring down enemy ballistic missiles.

VulnerableAmerica's BMD systems are advanced but not full-proof

BMD systems are very complex and critics argue, the US systems are far from reliable.

Missile interception tests have provided mixed results and may not always resemble real-world situations.

The US military has also accepted that the BMD could be overwhelmed if the enemy launches multiple missiles.

Thankfully for America, North Korea lacks such capabilities to target it, at least in the near future.