Remember how North Korea‘s numerous failures at trying to launch long-distance missiles made you feel just a little bit safer? Well think again, because the DPRK has missiles that can totally hit the mainland US, where you sleep (if you are an American, living in America).
In a pithily titled announcement, “Let’s Realize the Nation’s Cherished Desire through a Great War for National Reunification”, the Korean Central News Agency declares (translation by Business Week) that North Korean rockets are “within the scope of strike” of the US mainland.
The North’s arsenal includes Scud, Rodong and Musudan missiles. The Musudan has a range of more than 3,000 kilometers (1,860 miles) and can carry a 650-kilogram (1,430-pound) warhead, according to South Korean estimates. The U.S. mainland is more than 7,000 kilometers from North Korea.
The NYT has this sobering quote from Jeung Young-tae, military analyst at the Korea Institute for National Unification, “Even if they failed to put the satellites into orbit*, these rocket tests mean that the North Koreans may have already acquired the missile range”.
Launching missiles at the US, which has kind of a lot of firepower, would ensure a retaliatory attack that would be devastating to the DPRK. A fact that might be reassuring if the country wasn’t one big death cult.
*Attempted rocket launches, in 1998, 2006, and 2012 all failed.