MIAMI (CBSMiami) — North Korea launched another ballistic missile Friday, the Pentagon confirmed.
This one flew five minutes longer than the intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) fired in July.
The U.S. Military confirms North Korea has successfully test fired a second intercontinental ballistic missile
The ICBM was launched shortly after 11 p.m. local time. It flew for 45 minutes and traveled about 1,000 kilometers or 621 miles before splashing down within Japan’s “exclusive economic zone” – territorial waters in the Sea of Japan.
North Korea launched its first ICBM on July 4th. That one flew for 40 minutes – long enough that it would have been able to hit Alaska if it had been launched on a different trajectory.
Michael O’Hanlon studies North Korea for the Brooking’s Institute and points out that Pyonyang has not yet tested any nuclear weapons this year.
“They may just be in between preparations for a device that could be tested soon. Or, they may prefer not to reach quite that level of escalatory behavior,” said O’Hanlon.
Congress voted (98-2) to issue new economic sanctions against North Korea in response to its missile tests but President Trump has not yet decided whether to sign the bill.
The Senate voted overwhelmingly Thursday to pass the measure which also includes sanctions against Iran and Russia.
“The message coming from Congress on a bipartisan basis is – these are hostile regimes and sanctions are warranted, sanctions are called for,” said Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI).
The White House has criticized the bill because it limits the president’s sanctions power but the legislation has enough support to override a veto.
Republican Rand Paul of Kentucky and Independent Bernie Sanders of Vermont are the only two Senators voting against the sanctions bill.