Fact: The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on Monday ordered at around 2:30 p.m. local time that all planes currently about to take off from airports on the west coast of the United States must be restrained. Less than fifteen minutes later, the order was withdrawn. Temporary suspension of flight operations in the United States normally only occurs in extreme weather conditions. And the latter was not the case: it was sunny.
An FAA official later told Reuters news agency that the measure was linked to “early reports of events in the region.” The FAA won’t go into details on this, but the only logical explanation is the test with a hypersonic. glider missilee by North Korea which also took place at the time.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is ramping up his country’s missile program and has listed South Korea, Japan and the United States as possible targets. The strict Communist dictatorship reported in the usual triumphant manner by state media of a “successful test” with the projectile which allegedly hit a target in the sea a thousand kilometers away.
It seems that this latest generation of North Korean missiles can reach the American west coast, over a distance of more than 8,000 kilometers. Unlike the “old-fashioned” ballistic missile, the hypersonic gliding missile not a predictable course and is therefore more difficult to trace and intercept. The type’s speed is around Mach 5 (6,200 kilometers per hour), so the missile could hit Seattle or San Francisco in just over an hour. North Korea also has nuclear weapons and may be able to equip its own missiles with nuclear warheads.
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