North Korea’s ICBM: They Can’t Turn Los Angeles into Atomic Ash (Yet)

    Dana Struckman

    Security, Asia

    The intercontinental ballistic missile Hwasong-14 is seen during its test in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang, North Korea July 5 2017.

    This is rocket science, and it is hard.

    North Korea’s latest launch of their most sophisticated and far-reaching intercontinental ballistic missile to date, the “Hwasong-15”, has the world on edge. And for good reason; the pace of Pyongyang’s delivery system and corresponding nuclear warhead materials development has surprised many experts. But it’s too early to panic. We’re not in a nuclear crisis with North Korea—yet—and may not be for some time to come.

    On the surface, the situation certainly seems dire. North Korea is much further along in its program than U.S. and allied analysts would have predicted. The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies project, 38 North, recently reported the Hwasong-15, “could deliver a moderately-sized nuclear weapon to any city on the U.S. mainland.” The missile is big by any standard and certainly bigger than anything the DPRK has ever launched before.

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