North Korea’s Nuclear Arms’ Reach

On November 28, 2017, North Korea tested Hwasong-15, an intercontinental ballistic missile that experts believe has the capability of traveling 13,000 kilometers or 8,100 miles. If estimates are correct, the Hwasong-15 would be the first of North Korea’s missiles capable of reaching all parts of the continental United States. However, David Wright, of the Union of Concerned Scientists, noted in a statement that the distance of the Hwasong-15 could be reduced after being fitted with a nuclear warhead. The following graphic compares this new test with the missile range of Taepodong-2, North Korea’s longest range operational missile.

Read the text-only version of this graphic.

Note: This graphic does not account for the direction of the missile’s launch, which would affect its range due to the Earth’s rotation.

Learn more about the missile ranges of the world’s nine nuclear capable countries in the blog post "This Is Not a Test: Operational Missile Ranges of Nuclear-Armed States."

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Suggested citation: IR Online, American University's International Relations online program.