The ballistic missile that North Korea launched early on Saturday morning was sent from a truck-mounted mobile launcher. The missile flew for about 45 minutes, and reached an altitude of 3,700 km. The missile landed in Japanese waters in the Sea of Japan. The missile was launched almost vertically, so that it would reach a high altitude, but would not travel beyond the Sea of Japan. If used in an actual attack, it would be launched closer to a 45 degree angle which could carry it possibly as far as the United States mainland, which would make it an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). Some analysts are saying that missile could reach Los Angeles, Denver and Chicago. North Korean media claimed it could reach any target in the United States. Asahi Shimbun (Tokyo)
Analysts doubt that this is true, but North Korea's missile capabilities are growing more rapidly than previously predicted, so the next missile development may be able to reach more targets.
The next challenge for North Korea will be to develop a nuclear weapon small enough to fit in the nose of the ICBM. Many analysts believe that the North Koreans will have that capability within a year or two.... Guardian (London) and NY Daily News