I’m not particularly afraid of North Korea’s Kim Jong Un. Frankly, he strikes me as a blowhard and a propagandist like so many dictators before him. However, even blowhards occasionally find a way to follow through with their threats no matter how incredibly unlikely.
With that in mind, maybe it’s worth considering whether the recent test of an intermediate range ballistic missile (IRBM) is something to keep in mind while you prepare for the most likely disaster scenarios. You see, North Korea successfully tested an IRBM “which flew for 489 miles and reached an altitude of 1,312 miles.”
Daniel Jennings notes an even more scary aspect of the test:
One frightening feature of the launch was the successful test of a homing feature that would allow the warhead to survive the worst reentry situation, the country’s official news agency reported.
Such a homing feature would enable the North to aim the missile at specific targets, such as American cities or military bases.
“This is an advanced missile, if their claims are true,” Joshua Pollack of Nonproliferation Review told Reuters. He noted that the missile fired on Sunday looked similar to mockups of an ICBM the North Koreans may be building.
North Korea claims to have successfully tested five nuclear bombs and is believed to have around 10 nukes in its arsenal.
Now, while North Korea’s missile test is most likely to be a concern for our friends on the West Coast, that doesn’t mean that the rest of us shouldn’t keep this issue in mind. Remember, Cuba is only 103 miles off of the Florida coast, and if a missile is fired from a submarine 100 miles off of the West Coast of the United States, this missile could still strike targets as far inland as Phoenix, Arizona. The same scenario on the East Coast could hit targets as far inland as Knoxville, Tennessee. The midwest may be safe from IRBMs, but there are quite a few large population centers which could easily be hit with this type of weapon.
(On a side note, large population centers are likely to be a primary target for nuclear weapons, which is another reason to consider moving to a rural area.)
What do you think about North Korea’s latest missile tests: Real concern or just more propaganda without substance? Sound off below.