U.S. Increases Missile Defense Readiness After North Korea’s ‘Serious Escalation’ With New ICBM

By  //  March 11, 2022

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north korea tests gigantic "Hwasong-17" ICBM

ABOVE VIDEO: North Korea test-firing components for a new intercontinental ballistic missile

(CBS NEWS) – U.S. officials said Thursday that the Pentagon was amplifying its readiness in the Pacific in light of two North Korean missile tests over the past two weeks.

North Korea said the launches were to help develop satellites, but as CBS News Asia correspondent Elizabeth Palmer reports, American intelligence agencies believe Kim Jong Un’s military was really testing components of its gigantic “Hwasong-17” intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

The new weapon was rolled out in a military parade in 2020, but as far as anyone knows, it has never actually been fired. If the missile works the way it has been designed to, it could potentially reach anywhere in the continental United States.

North Korea has ramped up its missile testing since the beginning of the year, and the U.S. has expressed concern that the international community isn’t doing enough to stop them.

A senior Biden administration official said Thursday that the February 26 and March 4 missile tests represented a “serious escalation” by North Korea, but that unlike three ICBM tests carried out in 2017, neither of the recent launches demonstrated the range or capabilities of the missile system involved.