Amid escalating tensions between the United States and China, Beijing’s defence scientists have issued a warning about North Korea’s military capabilities. The scientists claim that North Korea possesses a highly potent ballistic missile that could cause significant damage to American soil in just 33 minutes.
The warning comes as the US and South Korea conduct joint military exercises, and North Korea continues to issue threats against the US. The missile in question is nuclear-capable and was recently launched near the Japan border.
Chinese defence experts suggest that if the US missile defence system fails to intercept it, the missile could reach Central America in under 33 minutes.
The research, published in the Chinese-language journal Modern Defense Technology, focuses on the Hwasong-15 missile, which North Korea first fired in 2017.
According to the research team led by Tang Yuan of the Beijing Institute of Electronic Systems Engineering, the Hwasong-15 missile is a two-stage nuclear-capable weapon with an effective range of 13,000 km. This range is sufficient to target the entire US soil.
The Chinese team claims that the missile originated from Suncheon, a city in South Pyongan province in central North Korea, and its intended destination is Missouri, a Central American state in the US.
If launched, the US missile defence headquarters would receive an alert about 20 seconds later. The first batch of intercepting missiles would take off from Fort Greely in Alaska within 11 minutes.
If this attempt fails, another wave of interceptors will be launched from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. While no official statement has been made by the US regarding China’s research, experts warn that any conflict involving North Korea could quickly escalate into a global crisis, underscoring the increasing tension between the US and China.
The US has been advocating for a more robust missile defence system, and this research by Chinese defence scientists emphasizes the importance of such efforts.