The war of words between the leaders of the United States and North Korea has reached a fever pitch in recent weeks. North Korea continues to develop nuclear weapons in defiance of the US and other world leaders, recently putting on a show of muscle by testing (non-nuclear) missiles. The escalating rhetoric from both sides has evoked the specter of a possible nuclear showdown.
North Korean’s Kim Jong-un has remained defiant in the face of US President Donald Trump’s threats to take action if the rogue leader continues with his country’s nuclear weapons program and missile tests. Even China, North Korea’s most significant ally, seems to be feeling uneasy.
As a result of this tense stand off, people around the world have been asking, “Just how far can North Korea’s missiles reach?” Well, this handy chart shows the range of North Korea’s different missiles.
There is still a lot of confusion regarding the range and capacity of the missiles. In a country that is virtually closed off to the world, it’s difficult to get a grasp on what is true and what is propaganda. North Korea claims to have ICBM missiles capable of reaching thousands of miles, but the technology they’re touting has never been tested, much less successfully. It’s unknown whether the missiles are even real.
While the chances of a North Korean missile hitting the US mainland seem very slim, South Korea and Japan, two important American allies, are both within range of North Korea’s known short-range capabilities. And though the American mainland is likely safe, the US has significant military installations across Asia, many within range of potential North Korean aggression.
North Korea is famous for saber rattling, so it is very possible that the unsettling situation will deescalate on its own once Kim Jon-un feels he has saved enough face – we just have to wait and see. Hopefully, a diplomatic solution will be reached.
h/t: Washington Post