Pedro Ugarte /AFP/Getty Images
North Korea cut military communications with South Korea and has made threats recently against the U.S. and Guam.
North Korea announced Tuesday that it put all its artillery and strategic rocket units on “No. 1 combat readiness” targeting the U.S. mainland, Hawaii, Guam and South Korea. This latest in a series of escalating threats is in response to new U.N. sanctions and joint military drills by the U.S. and South Korea.
North Korea successfully launched a three-stage rocket in December as well as its third nuclear test just last month. Additionally, North Korea threatened to turn Washington and Seoul into a “sea of fire.” The U.S. maintains that North Korea has not developed long-range missiles capable of hitting the continental U.S. But the military has announced plans to add interceptors to the anti-missile system in Alaska.
How real are North Korea’s threats? What exactly is North Korea’s military capability?
Jim Walsh, Ph.D., International security expert and a Research Associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Security Studies Program