NEWS

North Korean Hwasong-14 Missile Could Travel Far Enough To Reach Canada: Experts

The July 4 missile launch reached an altitude of 2,802 km.

07/05/2017 14:56 EDT | Updated 07/05/2017 14:56 EDT

Analysts of North Korea's first successful intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) launch are saying its estimated scope includes a sizable swath of Canada, according to AFP.

The North Korean government claimed their Hwasong-14 ICBM, which flew for 39 minutes, reached an altitude 2,802 km and hit its target 933 km away on Tuesday.

But, as the BBC reports, North Korea is still years away from mounting a nuclear warhead on a long-range weapon.

Physicist David Wright believes the missile could travel up to 6,700 km, which would put it in the range of not only Alaska, but also Canada's northern territories and a majority of British Columbia.

South Korean media report the missile could reach as far as 8,000 km.

North Korean state media has called the missile launch a "gift" to the U.S. in honour of the Fourth of July.

At its current pace, North Korea could have a weapon ready to strike the United States mainland within the next five to 10 years, according to the BBC.

This, of course, would also put parts of Canada at risk.

The Trudeau government has considered the threat to Canada. Its new defence policy, unveiled in June, mentions this potential scenario.

"The number of countries with access to ballistic-missile technology, including some with the potential to reach North America or target Canadian and allied deployed forces, has increased and is expected to grow and become more sophisticated," the policy states. "North Korea's frequent nuclear and missile tests underscore this point."

KCNA KCNA / Reuters
The intercontinental ballistic missile Hwasong-14 is seen in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang, July, 4 2017.

The American government condemned the Independence Day-timed missile test.

"Testing an ICBM represents a new escalation of the threat to the United States, our allies and partners, the region, and the world," Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in a statement.

"Global action is required to stop a global threat. Any country that hosts North Korean guest workers, provides any economic or military benefits, or fails to fully implement UN Security Council resolutions is aiding and abetting a dangerous regime. All nations should publicly demonstrate to North Korea that there are consequences to their pursuit of nuclear weapons."

Tillerson also said the U.S. will "never accept a nuclear-armed North Korea" and plans to enact further measures against the country.

Japan also denounced the launch.

The UN Security Council is holding an emergency meeting Tuesday to discuss North Korea.

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