North Korea ICBM Cannot Reach USA, Says Jim Mattis — But Test Results Shows Nuclear Missile Can Hit US

Alex BrandonAP Images

North Korea’s recent missile tests have shown to the rest of the world that Kim Jong-un’s hermit country is not planning to take a diplomatic approach with the United States of America. The growing tension between Washington and Pyongyang is escalating with each passing day but according to U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, North Korea’s intercontinental ballistic missile (ICMB) with a nuclear warhead is still incapable of reaching the mainland USA. However, test results from last month’s missile launch apparently show that the missiles fired from North Korea can reach the mainland USA.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said American analysts are working on understanding North Korea’s November 29 launch, but he does not believe Kim’s ICBM posed an imminent threat to the United States of America, according to Reuters.

“It has not yet shown to be a capable threat against us right now… we’re still doing the forensic analysis.”

Mattis, however, did not reveal what was lacking in North Korea’s missiles, but other nuclear and missile experts have questioned the ICBM’s re-entry capabilities from space into the Earth’s atmosphere.

President Donald Trump revealed that there are many options when it comes to handling North Korea and the threat it poses. However, Trump’s administration has made it clear that America would prefer to take diplomatic approach when it comes to dealing with Kim Jong-un’s hermit country.

north korea ICBM test results news
Military personnel gather at Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang, North Korea.Featured image credit: Jon Chol JinAP Images

Jim Mattis also shares the same beliefs, as he stated that the USA is still trying to resolve the issues by using diplomatic methods.

“When we’re ready to have conversations… dialogues, that will be up to the President and Secretary of State,” he later added.

Contrary to Jim Mattis, there are many experts in the United States who actually believe that North Korea could be only two or three missile tests away from acquiring the missile that could reach the mainland U.S.

Back in November, North Korea tested their 23rd missile of this year. According to their state media, Kim Jong Un ordered the Hwasong-15 missile and apparently, it reached the highest altitude ever recorded by a North Korean missile. The media agency also called Hwasong-15 their most powerful ICBM, and added in their report that their latest missile “meets the goal of the completion of the rocket weaponry system development.”

North Korea's Hwasong-15 range
Featured image credit: Sebastian ApelU.S. Department of Defense/AP Images

North Korea’s Hwasong-15 traveled 4,475 kilometers in the sky and spent 53 minutes in the air. The distance between North Korea and Alaska is 5,717 kilometers and based on North Korea’s testing capabilities, it looks like their future missiles will be able to hit anywhere.

According to CNN, when the news of North Korea’s missile test surfaced, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis stated that the missile launched demonstrated North Korea had the ability to hit “everywhere in the world.”