The growing tension between North Korea and the United States has never been this intense. The recent ballistic missile test and falsely accusing CIA of attempting an attack to kill Kim Jong-un, the hermit state has reportedly shown that it is not going to choose the diplomatic way to resolve the issues. So, what will happen if North Korea actually launches its nuclear missiles against the United States and its allies? Here’s what experts have to say on this matter.
According to scientist David Wright and rocket analyst Markus Schiller, President Donald Trump would have “maybe 10 minutes” to decide whether they have to launch a retaliatory strike against North Korea if Kim Jong-un decides to use his nuclear weaponry.
“The timelines are short,” Wright explained to the Associated Press. “Even for long-range missiles, there are a lot of steps that go into detecting the launch and figuring out what it is, leaving the president with maybe 10 minutes to decide whether to launch a retaliatory strike.”
North Korea’s Nuclear Missile Range:
Over the past few months, Kim has tried to test his multiple missiles — all of them resulted in failure. Experts still think that Korea’s supreme leader still lacks the ability to launch an actual missile that could travel up to 6,500 miles or 10,337 km — the distance between North Korea and the United States. That being said, a recent update from BBC suggests that North Korea’s long-range missiles may have the potential to reach the mainland United States.
Kim’s two types of intercontinental ballistic missile known as the KN-08 and KN-14 are believed to have a range of 11,500 km and 10,000 km respectively. Neither of the missiles has yet been flight tested, but the released images have shown that North Korea has started the engine trials. In an April 2016 analysis, the International Institute for Strategic Studies said the missiles were a “proven system which can hit all of South Korea and much of Japan.”
North Korea’s state-run KCNA news service alleged that their country now had the ability to send a “large-size heavy nuclear warhead” across the Pacific following their test of the Hwasong-12 missile. As a single stage liquid propulsion system, Hwasong-12 may represent a substantial advance to developing an indigenous North Korean intercontinental ballistic missile. It, however, does not put South Korea, Japan, or America at risk, but appears to have demonstrated an extended strategic range. If fired from a right location, it is enabled to strike the U.S. base at Guam.
David Wright further believes that North Korea’s ICBM fired from the hermit state would take a little over half an hour to reach San Francisco, while Markus Schiller points that Kim could strike Seattle and Los Angeles in less than 30 minutes from launch. Schiller added that New York and Washington will have around 30 minutes to take action.
If this is terrifying, then the condition of U.S. allies who are North Korea’s neighbors are at bigger risk. People living in Seoul would have zero to six minutes to take cover if Kim Jong-un decides to strike. Those who are in mainland Japan would have around 10-11 minutes to take appropriate action.
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has urged Donald Trump to show restraint against Kim Jong-un. According to him, America should not provoke someone who apparently “wants to end the world” by the use of his nuclear weapons.
“There seem to be two countries playing with their toys and those toys are not really to entertain. You know that they are playing with somebody who relishes letting go of missiles and everything. I would not want to go into his (Kim’s) mind because I really do not know what’s inside but he’s putting mother earth, the planet to an edge.”
What would happen if Donald Trump does decide to answer Kim Jong-un with missile attack? America’s land-based ICBMs could be in the air within five minutes, while submarine-based missiles will be in the air in 15 minutes. Once they will be launched, it is not possible to recall them.
[Featured Image by Wong Maye-E/AP Images]