North Korean missiles could reach Las Vegas, experts say

Updated April 19, 2017 - 6:41 pm

North Korea has long claimed it can strike the U.S. mainland with its missiles. Western military experts have mostly scoffed.

They aren’t anymore.

The growing tempo and sophistication of the rogue nation’s weapons tests has persuaded some experts that Pyongyang now has — or is close to having — the ability to fire a missile capable of reaching the West Coast or Las Vegas.

“It can’t be dismissed,” said Thomas Karako, a senior fellow for international security at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a bipartisan nonprofit policy research group in Washington, D.C.

“They have some fairly robust medium-range missiles that could very well be armed,” said Karako, who works on the CSIS Missile Defense Project. “I think the consensus is they’ve come a long way.” North Korea Missile Threat

It remains unclear whether Kim Jong Un’s nuclear scientists have developed the expertise to tip the regime’s long-distance missiles with nuclear warheads capable of surviving re-entry, he said.

Growing nuclear capability

Plutonium science expert Siegfried Hecker, who has traveled to North Korea seven times to assess its plutonium program, said last year in Las Vegas that scientists there had been covertly enriching nuclear materials for as many as 25 bombs. It must be assumed then that nuclear warheads could at least be mounted on short-range or maybe midrange missiles, like the BM-25 Musudan that’s under development, he said.

Putting them on long-range missiles, Hecker said, might only be five to 10 years away.

Karako said with two decades of intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) development and a growing stockpile of nuclear materials, Kim’s regime is undoubtedly drawing closer to its goal of being able to carry out a nuclear attack on the United States.

Recent strides by the militaristic nation have included the ability to power the missiles with solid instead of liquid fuel, field mobile missile launchers and fire “more-energetic missile stages” capable of boosting warheads into ever-higher altitudes.

Some estimates show that the regime’s two intercontinental ballistic missiles in development — the KN-08 and KN-14 — have ranges of roughly 7,150 miles and 6,200 miles, respectively. That puts them within range of Las Vegas — which is approximately 5,950 miles across the Pacific from Pyongyang — and other West Coast cities.

Karako said North Korea also has a “demonstrator” satellite-launch missile, the Taepodong-2, that could reach Denver — 6,115 miles from the Korean Peninsula – though it likely has only “a few lying around” at this point.

Submarine warfare

Karako said the U.S. also can’t overlook the threat that North Korea could use submarines to shorten the distance to its targets.

He said North Korea recently demonstrated a sea-launched submersible launch platform.

“The speed at which they developed that has surprised some folks,” he said, adding the prospect of submarine-launched missiles presents “a challenging problem.”

Detecting an enemy vessel heading toward Guam or Hawaii is more difficult than detecting a missile in flight, he noted.

The biggest underwater threat to regional allies would be another missile in development, the KN-11 submarine-launched ballistic missile. However Karako said North Korea has “plenty of mobile, land-based missiles” that could strike South Korea or Japan.

Nevertheless, it’s clear from recent missile tests that North Korea is forging ahead with a submarine-launched missile program.

Dave Schmerler, a research associate at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at California’s Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, said the test missile that exploded on launch last week was the second fired this month near the port city of Sinpo, commonly associated with North Korea’s Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile (SLBM) program. North Korea showcased a missile resembling the new KN-17 , a liquid-fuel missile intended to sink ships, during last week’s military parade in Pyongyang.

He said an Aug. 24, 2016, firing of another sub-launched anti-ship missile under development — known as the KN-11 — on a curved trajectory into the Sea of Japan was the most successful test to date.

He added, however, that North Korea has “not revealed the existence of more submarines that are SLBM capable — beyond the one used for testing.” And that sub is believed to be able to fire only one missile at a time, he said.

“In short,” he said, “they would need to build more submarines with the ability to launch multiple missiles before it becomes an operational threat.”

Missile interceptor defense

The U.S. military has expressed confidence that its missile defenses would be able to shoot down an incoming North Korean missile.

Long before President Donald Trump was sworn in this year, the U.S. Missile Defense Agency was planning to test its readiness against a potential attack.

Two tests of U.S. sea-based and land-based missile interceptors are scheduled in May, agency spokesman Christopher Johnson said. First will be a test of the Navy’s Aegis ballistic missile sea-based system off Hawaii followed by one of the Ground Based Midcourse Defense System at Vandenberg Air Force Base on the California coast.

The Army’s advanced Patriot mobile interceptor missiles also are deployed worldwide to defend against short- to medium-range missiles, according to the agency’s website.

Karako said the United States has a definite advantage over North Korea when it comes to knocking down missiles in flight, after detection at launch locations. He said the U.S. interceptors have a proven record but the problem is “we don’t have enough of them” with only three dozen long-range interceptors deployed in Alaska and California.

As for nuclear attacks from aircraft, North Korea doesn’t have that capability yet, he said. Nor has Kim’s regime developed the technology necessary for so-called “MIRV” systems, intercontinental ballistic missiles with multiple warheads that can be aimed at independent targets.

Contact Keith Rogers at krogers@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0308. Find him on Twitter: @KeithRogers2

ad-high_impact_4
News
Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Run Leaves Las Vegas
The 19th annual Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Run left Las Vegas Wednesday morning. More than 550 officers will run 132 segments to Carson City. Each leg represents an officer who died in the line of duty.
President Donald Trump speaks at White House ceremony for French president
President Donald Trump speaks during a welcome ceremony for French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday. (Debra Saunders/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
French President Emmanuel Macron speaks at White House ceremony
President Emmanuel Macron speaks at Tuesday ceremony welcoming the French leader and his wife to the White House. (Debra Saunders/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Toronto Attack Suspect Charged in Van Attack
Toronto Attack Suspect Charged in Van Attack According to the Associated Press, 25-year-old Alek Minassian was charged with 10 counts of 1st degree murder and 13 counts of attempted murder. Minassian appeared in court Tuesday morning after mowing down and killing 10 people in a rented van Monday in downtown Toronto. 15 others were also injured in the attack. Authorities have not announced a motive. “As was indicated last night by our public security minister, at this time we have no reason to suspect that there is any national security element to this attack, but obviously the investigations continue.” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
1 dead in shooting at southwest Las Vegas home
A dispute between roommates led to the fatal shooting of one man in the backyard of their southwest Las Vegas Valley home on Monday, April 23, 2018. (Rio Lacanlale/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
9 Dead and at Least 16 Injured as Van Hits Pedestrians in Toronto
9 Dead and at Least 16 Injured as Van Hits Pedestrians in Toronto The driver of the van is now in custody after climbing the curb and plowing through crowds of people. Witnesses describe a scene of chaos as the trail stretched about one mile before coming to a stop. Witness, via CTV Canada's Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, made initial statements after learning of the incident. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson Welcomes New Baby Girl!
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson Welcomes New Baby Girl! The 45-year-old actor posted an adorable photo on Instagram, celebrating his newborn baby girl, Tiana Gia Johnson. Dwayne Johnson, via Instagram Dwayne Johnson, via Instagram Dwayne Johnson, via Instagram This is Johnson’s second daughter with his girlfriend, Lauren Hashian. His oldest daughter, Simone Garcia Johnson, came from his previous marriage. Johnson and Hashian first announced they were expecting another child back in January. Congratulations!!
High School Senior Wins Writing Scholarship
Kye "Kai" Catarata was presented with a $1,000 scholarship at the Las Vegas Writer's Conference Saturday at the Tuscany Suites and Casino.
It's a Boy! Duchess of Cambridge Gives Birth to Third Child
It's a Boy! Duchess of Cambridge Gives Birth to Third Child Kensington Palace announced that Prince William and Princess Kate traveled by car to the private Lindo Wing of St. Mary's Hospital in central London Monday. The child was born at 11:01 a.m. local time, weighing 8lbs 7oz. Her Royal Highness and her child are both doing well. Kensington Palace The new addition will be fifth in line to the throne, Queen Elizabeth II's sixth great-grandchild and third grandchild of Charles, Prince of Wales. Catherine and Harry married in 2011 and have two other children, Prince George, 4, and Princess Charlotte, who turns 3 next month.
Dr. Abbatangelo: Professor, Pageant Queen and Animal Dentist
Dr. Tina M. Abbatangelo, a professor of clinical practice at UNLV dentist school spends her free time and money traveling across the country to help treat exotic animals.
Joseph Otting, U.S. comptroller of the currency during an interview with RJ
Joseph Otting, U.S. comptroller of the currency during an interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Otting oversees all national banks, credit unions, mutual savings banks, coops and the federal branches and agencies of foreign banks in the United States. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Paris Wade discusses about his “Liberty Writers” website
Paris Wade, who made national headlines for operating a fake news website and boasts about getting President Donald Trump elected in 2016, speaks during an interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal on Friday, April 20, 2018, in Las Vegas. Wade is running for Nevada Assembly. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Police Unity Tour from New Jersey to Washington D.C. to commemorate fallen officers.
Las Vegas Metro police and Henderson police officers ride their bikes during the Vegas Team's last practice rides in preparation for the Police Unity Tour from New Jersey to Washington D.C. to commemorate fallen officers. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review Journal @bizutesfaye
UNLV students walk out of class on national walkout day
UNLV students and supporters chanted, marched and rallied on national walkout day Friday, April 20 on the 19th anniversary of the 1999 Columbine High School shooting in Colorado. K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Captain Sasha Larkin Discusses Challenges, Progress in North West
Captain Sasha Larkin, of Metro's Northwest Area Command, discusses what issues face the northwest valley's residents and what police are doing to address them.
Southwest giving passengers on deadly flight $5,000 for compensation
Passengers on Flight 1380 have been receiving checks as a gesture of goodwill from the airline.
Ellis Island Buys Mt. Charleston Lodge
Ellis Island, which operates a casino, brewery and hotel just off the Strip, purchased the Mt. Charleston Lodge in early April.
LVMPD Arrests Suspect in Sunset Park Shooting
Captain Robert Plummer held a press conference at LVMPD headquarters Thursday to provide updates on the arrest of Anthony J. Wrobel, accused of killing a Venetian executive and wounding one other in a shooting on Sunday.
Two Black Men Arrested at Starbucks Share Their Story
Two Black Men Arrested at Starbucks Share Their Story Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson sat down with ABC’s ‘Good Morning America’ on Thursday and said the Starbucks manager called the police two minutes after they arrived. Donte Robinson, to 'Good Morning America' Donte Robinson, to 'Good Morning America' The men were meeting with a friend for a business meeting at the store’s location at around 3:45 pm on April 12 and declined to make any purchases. Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson issued a public apology and vowed to fix the issue by closing 8,000 stores nationwide next month for training on unconscious bias. Both Nelson and Robinson were released without charges after spending hours in jail, and the manager is no longer with the company.
Hero Southwest Pilot Was One of the Navy’s First Female Fighter Pilots
Hero Southwest Pilot Was One of the Navy’s First Female Fighter Pilots Tammie Jo Shults is being called a hero after safely landing the crippled Southwest Flight 1380 in Philadelphia. According to a spokesperson, Shults began her Navy career in 1985 and was one of the first female pilots to “transition to tactical aircraft.” She served for another eight years before moving to the Naval Reserve, retiring completely in 2001 with the rank of Lt. Commander. The Southwest flight, which was headed for Dallas from New York, was forced to make an emergency landing after one of its engines blew. One passenger was killed in the explosion when shrapnel flew through a window. Seven others suffered minor injuries aboard the flight, which carried 149 people. Passenger Peggy Phillips, to NBC News Passenger Peggy Phillips, to NBC News
Bump stock manufacturers under fire
The Justice Department said last month that it had started the process to amend federal firearms regulations to clarify that federal law defines bump stocks as machine guns.
Artist, Community Paint Winchester Skate Park
Andrew Schoultz, a Los Angeles-based artist with an upcoming exhibit at UNLV's Barrick Museum, painted the skate park at Winchester Cultural Center on Tuesday.
Prince death investigation coming to an end
Prosecutors in Minnesota plan an announcement Thursday on the two-year investigation into Prince's death from a drug overdose Prince was 57 when he was found alone and unresponsive in an elevator at his Paisley Park estate on April 21, 2016. An autopsy found he died of an accidental overdose of fentanyl. Search warrants unsealed about a year after Prince died showed that authorities searched his home, cellphone records of associates and his email accounts to try to determine how he got the drug. The county attorney has scheduled a morning announcement at which time charges could be filed.
David Copperfield executive producer testifies during the magician's civil trial
A British tourist is suing illusionist David Copperfield saying he was injured during a trick. Chris Kenner, executive producer for illusionist David Copperfield, was on the witness stand all day Tuesday, April 17. Kenner testified that a business manager for the show talked to the man after he fell. Kenner testified that the tourist, Gavin Cox, said he was OK moments after the fall. Cox later told the crew: “Maybe I will have this looked at.” Copperfield is the next witness in line for Cox’s attorneys. K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Art Bell’s Top 10 Shows
A selection of radio host Art Bell’s most popular shows.
CCSD Teacher Is a Living Organ Donor
June Monroe speaks about her kidney donation to her brother and advocacy work with the National Kidney Foundation.
Shadow Ridge High School teachers protest
Shadow Ridge High School teachers protest. Teachers are upset over many things, including the fact that the district is fighting an arbitration ruling for pay raises. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Clark County commissioners debate getting rid of Henderson, North Las Vegas constables
Clark County commissioners are debating whether to get rid of the Henderson and North Las Vegas constables after RJ's story pointing out questionable spending by the Henderson Constable Earl Mitchell. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
1 Dead, 7 Injured After Southwest Airlines Flight Makes Emergency Landing
1 Dead, 7 Injured After Southwest Airlines Flight Makes Emergency Landing Dallas-bound Southwest Airlines Flight 1380 out of New York, which had 143 passengers and a crew of five onboard, landed in Philadelphia on Tuesday. According to NBC10, a female passenger was partially sucked out of a broken window, which was a result of the plane's engine ripping apart. It's not known if the female passenger was the one who died. Emergency personnel met the battered plane upon its landing. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the blown engine resulted in a smashed window and a damaged fuselage. Southwest Airlines The FAA said that the NTSB will lead the investigation into what happened.
Single vehicle crash kills man
A man died Tuesday morning in a single-vehicle crash in northeast Las Vegas. The crash occurred Tuesday morning on the 1900 block of Pasadena Boulevard, near Lake Mead Boulevard and Mt. Hood Street. Police had few details, but Metro's fatal detail was on the scene investigating.
Politics
Nevada Politics Today: Craig Mueller
Las Vegas Review-Journal's Victor Joecks sits down with Republican candidate for Attorney General, Craig Mueller and discusses his position on crime in Nevada.
The Right Take: Rosen attended fundraiser hosted by Jane Fonda
Last Friday, Rosen attended a fundraiser hosted by Jane Fonda and other Hollywood elites. Yes, that’s the same Jane Fonda that Vietnam War veterans call “Hanoi Jane” for smiling while sitting on a North Vietnamese anti-aircraft gun.
The Right Take: Registrar has admitted to 175 mistakes
Victor Joecks talks about the Clark County Registrar’s office struggling to keep its numbers straight.
Nevada Politics Today: Tim Phillips, President of Americans for Prosperity
Review-Journal's Victor Joecks sits down with Tim Phillips, President of Americans for Prosperity.
The Right Take: Equal Pay Day sends a false message to women
Equal Pay Day was last week. Democrats spent the day spreading the falsehood that women earn 80 cents for every dollar men earn. That’s a false and destructive message to send to women.
Donald Trump Calls Out James Comey After Book Details Emerge
Donald Trump Calls Out James Comey After Book Details Emerge The President took to Twitter to criticize the former FBI director as information emerges from Comey’s new book, ‘A Higher Loyalty’. According to 'The New York Times', Comey describes Trump in the book as “unethical, and untethered to truth and institutional values.” James Comey, A Higher Loyalty, via The New York Times A Higher Loyalty hits stores on April 17.
Las Vegas man stands with president at White House
President Donald Trump delivered remarks in the Rose Garden Thursday about how the GOP tax cut plan helped working families across the country. To his left stood Richard Kerzetski, president of Universal Plumbing & Heating Co. in Las Vegas. Debra J. Saunders/Las Vegas Review-Journal
The Right Take: Superintendent has limited authority
It’s starts with money. CCSD has a lot. It has a $2.4 billion general fund. The superintendent controls almost none of it. Personnel expenses make up 87 percent of that. The rest goes to things like utilities, gas for school buses and textbooks.
Nevada Politics Today: Michelle Mortensen
Review-Journal's Victor Joecks sits down with Republican candidate for CD3, Michelle Mortensen to discuss the Nevada congressional race and DACA.
The Right Take: Liberals claim there's a 20% gender pay gap
Tuesday was Equal Pay Day, a chance for liberals to claim that women in America make only 80 cents for every dollar a male makes. They calculate this by comparing the median annual earnings of men and women working full-time in 2016.
The Right Take: Arbitrator sides with teachers union
Victor Joecks talks about how an Arbitrator's decision will impact CCSD going forward.
Nevada Politics Today: Thom Reilly interview
Victor Joecks talks to Thom Reilly about Len Jessup leaving UNLV and other topics about the school.
The Right Take: Sisolak Running Scared
Steve Sisolak couldn’t scare off Chris Giunchigliani, and now she has Sisolak running scared. They’re both seeking the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.
State lawmaker shares his views on new prison education program
Senate Majority Leader Aaron Ford shared his views Friday about a prison education bill he spearheaded in the 2017 legislative session. Ford, community members and higher education officials toured the High Desert State Prison on Indian Springs on Friday where he program is being implemented. (Natalie Bruzda/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Right Take: Is Easter "fake news?"
Victor Joecks talks about Easter and the historical validity of The Bible.
The Right Take: Democrats try to keep their positions secret
Victor Joecks discusses Democrats trying to keep their positions secret and barring press from events.
The Right Take: Marijuana Money Already Going To Education
Fixing Nevada’s education system starts with educating yourself on how the system actually works.
The Right Take: Armed school officer stops shooting
Victor Joecks talks about how an armed school officer stopped further violence.
Early voting in the Ward 5 Las Vegas City Council race at Las Vegas City Hall
Early voting in the Ward 5 Las Vegas City Council race at Las Vegas City Hall. There are eleven candidates running in the Ward 5 special election to serve out the remaining 15 months left on former councilman Ricki Barlow's term. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas-Review Journal
Nevada Politics Today: Denise Hooks
Review-Journal columnist Victor Joecks talks with March for Our Lives Las Vegas college student facilitator Denise Hooks about gun control.
The Right Take: Trump tweets support of Tarkanian running for CD3
President Donald Trump’s twitter feed often produces chaos. With just one tweet on Friday, however, he reordered Nevada politics and increased Republican chances in two races key races.
The Right Take: You can see what government employees make
Last year, over 1,750 state and local employees took home over $200,000 in total compensation. Expect that number to grow to around 2,500 once Clark County and the Nevada System of Higher Education submit their data.
Nevada Politics Today: Sylvia Lazos
Review-Journal's Victor Joecks sat down with Educate Nevada Now policy director, Sylvia Lazos and discussed categorical funding, school choice and leadership programs in low performing schools.
Nevada Politics Today: Sylvia Lazos
Review-Journal's Victor Joecks sat down with Educate Nevada Now policy director, Sylvia Lazos and discussed categorical funding, school choice and leadership programs in low performing schools.
The RIght Take: National School Walkout
At 10 a.m. on Wednesday, students from 12 schools in the Las Vegas valley will walk out of their classes for 17 minutes as part of the National School Walkout. It’s an event organized by the Women’s March, and it claims that similar protests will occur at thousands of schools throughout the country.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott Signs Marjory Stoneman Douglas Gun Bill (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Florida Gov. Rick Scott Signs Marjory Stoneman Douglas Gun Bill Scott signed the bill Friday, The law is known as the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act and increases restrictions on gun control, but also allows for some teachers to be armed. The law also: • Raises the minimum age to buy rifles from 18 to 21 • Extends a three-day waiting period for handgun purchases to include long guns • Bans bump stocks The $400 million bill marks Scott's break with the National Rifle Association, which opposes raising age limits to buy weapons or imposing new waiting periods.
The Right Take: Ruben Kihuen considering running for reelection
Victor Joecks talks about Ruben Kihuen and the possibility he has to run for reelection.
The Right Take: Trump poised to imposing new tariffs
President Donald Trump appears committed to imposing new tariffs, 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum.
Nevada Politics Today: Republican Senate Minority Leader, Michael Roberson
Nevada Politics Today host Victor Joecks sat down with Republican Senate Minority Leader, Michael Roberson to discuss gun safety and his race as republican candidate for Lieutenant Governor.
The Right Take: House Ds introduced an assault weapons ban
On Monday, House Democrats introduced an assault weapons ban. Of the 193 Democrats in the House, 168 are sponsors or co-sponsors, including Nevada’s three House Democrats.
The Right Take: Laxalt visited a crisis pregnancy center
Last week, Republican gubernatorial candidate and attorney general Adam Laxalt visited First Choice Pregnancy Services, a crisis pregnancy center.
Nevada Politics Today: David Chipman
Victor Joecks interviews David Chipman, Giffords Senior Policy Advisor, about the recent shooting in Florida and how to stop an event like this from occurring again.
The Right Take: Shooting Surviors Push For Gun Control
Being a shooting victim doesn’t make you an expert on ending gun violence. You wouldn’t know that from watching CNN.
The Right Take: Mass Shootings And Gun Control
After every mass shooting, elected Democrats and their allies in the media tell Americans to “do something.” The response to Wednesday’s horrific shooting in Florida has been no different.
The Right Take: Mass Shootings And Gun Control
After every mass shooting, elected Democrats and their allies in the media tell Americans to “do something.” The response to Wednesday’s horrific shooting in Florida has been no different.
The Right Take: Major outlets swoon over dictator's sister
Victor Joecks talks about how major news outlets reacted to Kim Jong-un's sister at the Winter Olympics.
Steve Sisolak Vows To Donate Salary If Elected Governor
Clark County Commission Chairman and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Steve Sisolak speaks to CCSD employees during a news conference at the Clark County Education Association building in Las Vegas on Monday, Feb. 5, 2018. Sisolak said he would donate his salary to education nonprofits if elected governor. Richard Brian Las Vegas Review-Journal @vegasphotograph
Las Vegas mogul Steve Wynn resigns as RNC finance chairman
Las Vegas mogul Steve Wynn has been accused of sexual misconduct by dozens of people, according to the Wall Street Journal. Wynn is accused of pressuring employees to perform sex acts, the report said. "The idea that I ever assaulted any woman is preposterous" Steve Wynn's statement to the WSJ The newspaper reported "a decades-long pattern of sexual misconduct." The report included details of a $7.5 million settlement paid to a manicurist who complained about Wynn's behavior.
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
ad-infeed_1
ads_infeed_2
Local Spotlight
Events
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like