MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 09th February, 2023) North Korea appears to have enough intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) to overwhelm US midcourse air defenses on the West Coast, the Politico online newspaper has estimated.
North Korea rolled 10 to 12 Hwasong-17 ICBMs during a military parade in Pyongyang on Wednesday night to mark 75 years since the establishment of its armed forces. Photos were published by the country's KCNA news agency.
The nuclear-capable Hwasong-17 is already believed to be able to reach the continental United States. Assuming it can carry four warheads, North Korea could get some of them past the US ground-based midcourse defense system (GMD), which consists of 44 interceptors, the Politico reported.
The publication added that the outlet had not received a response to its request for comment from the US National Security Council.
Pyongyang is yet to demonstrate that the missile can actually hit a target. It has only been test-fired once in November, and NATO allies alleged at the time that it failed.
GMD, which is located in California and Alaska, has been tested multiple times but was fired at night only once and it failed too, according to James Acton, co-director of Carnegie's nuclear policy program. He said the sun allowed the tracking of the reentry vehicle carrying the warhead, making a night attack all the more plausible.