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Posted: Tuesday, July 04, 2017 07:35 PM

Updated: Tuesday, July 04, 2017 07:35 PM

North Korea Test Fires Missile That  Could Strike Alaska

The ballistic missile launched by North Korea on Tuesday flew longer than any missile test conducted by the rogue regime to date, U.S. Pacific Command said -- meaning Kim Jong Un's dictatorship may now possess the ability to strike Alaska.

North Korea launched a missile on Mother's Day that flew for 30 minutes and reached an altitude 1,000 miles higher than the international space station. But Tuesday's missile flew for 37 minutes and reached a height of 1,500 miles, leading missile experts to conclude it could have reached a target 4,000 miles away, putting Alaska in its cross-hairs.

"The threat is much more immediate now," National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster told reporters prior to the launch. "So it's clear we can't repeat the same failed approach of the past."

He added: "So the president has directed us not to do that, and to prepare a range of options -- including a military option, which nobody wants to take, right?"

Vice Adm. James Syring, the director of the Missile Defense Agency, previously said, if it didn't already exist, it would only be a matter of time until North Korea was able to attack the U.S.

"We have to assume that the capability exists today to attack the United States," Syring said.

If the U.S. decides the threat posed by North Korea is too great, the nation has options.

For the first time since the 1990s, the Pentagon ordered two U.S. aircraft carrier strike groups to be positioned off the Korean Peninsula last month. Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta also said the U.S. could use other means to undercut and diminish Pyongyang.

"We do have covert capabilities, and I think it would be wise for the United States to use those covert capabilities as a way to continue to undermine the North Korean government," Panetta said. "If they do anything stupid, it could end their regime, period."










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