North Korea Could Launch Nuclear-Capable Missile Against U.S. By 2018

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The Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency has determined that North Korea will be able to field a “reliable, nuclear-capable” intercontinental ballistic missile by next year, The Washington Post reported Tuesday. Earlier estimates held that North Korea would not have ICBM capability until 2020. Meanwhile, North Korea’s state-run news agency reported Tuesday that Pyongyang would launch a nuclear strike at “the heart of the U.S.” if it tried to remove Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Un. The threat came in apparent response to CIA Director Mike Pompeo’s statement last week that he hoped to find a way to separate the rogue dictator from his nuclear stockpile. We discuss the status of North Korea’s nuclear capabilities and the international community's response.


  • Robert Litwak, director, International Security Studies, Wilson Center

Related Links:

Preventing North Korea's Nuclear Breakout Woodrow Wilson Center

Washington Post article on Pentagon's report