NPR

As Rhetoric Escalates, What Do We Know About North Korea's Nuclear Arsenal?

There's a great deal of uncertainty around North Korea's capabilities, but here are the facts.
This picture taken and released on July 4 by an official North Korea news agency shows leader Kim Jong-Un (second from right) inspecting the test firing of a Hwasong-14 ICBM at an undisclosed location. / STR / Getty Images

This week saw a dramatic escalation of tensions on the Korean Peninsula. As North Korea promised to engulf the U.S. territory of Guam in "enveloping fire", President Trump tweeted that the U.S. military is "locked and loaded" should North Korea "act unwisely".

The North's missile and nuclear programs have been shrouded in secrecy for years, but recent tests have shed more light on their capabilities. Here is what's currently known.

North Korean missiles can reach the continental United States.

Any ambiguity about. The missiles flew on a trajectory high into space before returning to Earth. Based on the flight time and altitude, it's clear that this missile could reach points along the U.S. West Coast and possibly even farther into the country.

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