DENVER (CBS4) – Hours after North Korea test-fired an intercontinental missile, military officials in the United States expressed concern of the nation’s ability to reach the United States mainland with a weapon.
CBS News reported Denver was one of many cities in the United States that may be within reach of a missile fired from North Korea. Fortunately, according to NORAD, Colorado is home to military experts responding to missile fire.
“Colorado plays a very important role in the world of missile warning” said Lt. Colonel Tim Schwamb, spokesperson for NORAD in Colorado Springs.
NORAD and NORTHCOM are the nation’s first response to missile defense, monitoring the globe’s airstrike systems at all times.
“We stand ready to protect America 24/7, 365,” Schwamb said.
NORAD said the recent threats handed down by North Korean Dictator Kim Jong Un were of a concern to the United States.
“Certainly, North Korea has kept us busy in the last several months,” Schwamb said.
In late June, NORAD welcomed CBS4 inside their command center, where an inside look at the nation’s first response was given.
“When we receive word of a missile launch, the command center goes into high gear at that point” Schwamb said.
North Korea’s most recent missile test sent the warhead more than 620 miles, flying high into space, before landing in the Sea of Japan.
Though experts believed Denver is within reach, some said it isn’t likely to be a primary target.
“Certainly, Colorado could be on that list. But, I don’t know that Colorado presents any more of a risk than any other,” Schwamb said.
Although NORAD officials said their concerns are increased, they believed their expertise would protect American mainland.
NORAD would work alongside NORTHCOM, and other teams at Buckley Air Force Base, to alert the nation’s highest ranking officials. From there, and anti-ballistic missile could be fired into space. The American missile was designed to impact foreign missiles, before they can reach the United States.
“We bat 1,000 every time, and that’s what makes our mission so special, and should comfort the American people,” Schwamb said.
Dillon Thomas is a reporter at CBS4 and a Colorado native. He believes everyone has a story, and would love to share yours! You can find more of his stories by following him on Twitter, @DillonMThomas.