Mattis: North Korea missile launch was highest ever
Defense Secretary James Mattis said Tuesday that North Korea’s latest ballistic missile flew higher than any of its previous launches.
“A little over two-and-a-half hours ago, North Korea launched an intercontinental ballistic missile. It went higher, frankly, than any previous shot they’ve taken,” Mattis said at a White House meeting alongside President Trump.
Mattis said South Korea fired “pinpoint missiles” into the sea as a show of force following the North’s latest launch and that Pyongyang’s continued development of missiles “can threaten everywhere in the world basically.”
“The bottom line is it is a continued effort to build a ballistic missile threat that endangers world peace, regional peace and certainly the United States,” he said.
The South Korean news agency Yonhap reports that the missile flew at an altitude of roughly 2,800 miles.
The Pentagon believes the missile flew about 620 miles before landing in the Sea of Japan, within Japan’s economic exclusion zone.
An official with South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff confirmed that the missile was launched from Pyongsong in the South Pyongan province of North Korea.
The North American Aerospace Defense Command assessed that the launch did not pose a threat to North America or any U.S. allies, it said.
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