north korea
Kim Jong Un posing next to the new Hwasong-15 missile. KCNA/Reuters

On November 29, North Korea tested a new Inter-continental Ballistic Missile named 'Hwasong-15' and claimed that it is capable of hitting any targets in the US mainland with precision. But now, US Secretary of Defense James Mattis has said that the current ICBMs, which North Korea possess are not capable of hitting the continental US.

Mattis made these remarks during an off-camera briefing with Press Reporters at the Pentagon on Friday. According to Mattis, the new ICBM which the Pyongyang tested on November has not shown any signs of emerging as a threat to the US mainland. The Secretary of Defense added that experts in the United States are now deeply assessing the newly designed weapon by Kim Jong-un's regime.

According to reports, US officials are questioning the re-entry capability of Hwasong-15 from space into the Earth. US is also quite critical about the accuracy of this Inter-continental Ballistic Missile's guidance systems.

Interestingly, soon after the test of 'Hwasong-15', Mattis has said that the new ICBM of North Korea has gone higher than any other Pyongyang missiles, and added that the missile programs led by Kim Jong-un are threatening the entire stability of the world.

Even though Mattis has revealed the limitation of Hwasong-15 from reaching the US mainland, some military experts in the country believe that the North Korean missile is capable of delivering a nuclear warhead to the US easily. These experts believe Hwasong-15 can reach up to 8000 kilometers on a flat trajectory, which makes Washington DC an easily assailable target.

Soon after the launch, South Korea, North Korea's arch-rivals said that the new missile has put Washington within its firing range. The Defense Ministry of the nation also added that Pyongyang is yet to prove its mastery on re-entry and warhead activation.