A Visual Guide To North Korea's Military Capabilities

Tyler Durden's picture

With the North Korean "problem" front in center for the Trump administration, especially after Sunday's failed ballistic missile launch prompting Trump's top security advisor, Lt. Gen HR McMaster to "work with China on a range of options" to respond to the North Korean provocation, here are several charts and infographics summarizing North Korea's conventional and nuclear potential, as well as its short and long-range military options.

In terms of most immediate short-range threats, North Korean conventional artillery by the border can penetrate somewhat into South Korea, with the biggest zone of impact stretching approximately 10 miles in. That said, according to Stratfor even areas such as the capital Seoul would be within range of some of the heavier North Korean tube and rocket artillery.

As the next chart demonstrates, under the Kim regime North Korea has conducted more ballistic missile launches than during the regimes of Kim John Un's two predecessors combined.

As Bloomberg notes, the regime of Kim Jong Un - which has accelerated the country's nuclear program since taking power in 2011 - is said to possess rockets that can hit South Korea and Japan with as many as 20 atomic bombs, and it’s now focused on building a long-range missile capable of hitting Washington, D.C., with a nuclear warhead.

The following Reuters chart summarizes what is known about NK's current missile arsenal:

The next image details the maximum estimated range of any given ballistic delivery system. While there are disagreements on how far North Korea's most advanced missiles, the Taepodong-2 and KN-14 can reach, they are widely assumed to be able to reach most parts of the US. That said, Bloomberg cites analysts who say the Taepdong-2 has been used only for launching satellites into orbit and probably wouldn’t be suitable to deliver nuclear warheads.


As Bloomberg also observes, more worrisome than the Taepodong-2 is the yet-to-be tested KN-08, a road-mobile intercontinental ballistic missile. Its range of about 11,500 kilometers (7,100 miles) which would threaten a host of major U.S. cities. At the beginning of the year, Kim said that North Korea was in the “last stage” of preparing to test-fire an ICBM—prompting U.S. President Donald Trump to tweet: “It won’t happen!”

Furthermore, during yesterday's "Day of the sun" parade, North Korea revealed a new ICBM which according to South Korean military officials was longer than the existing KN-08 or KN-14 ICBMs, and may thus be the longest-ranged weapon in Kim's arsenal, if indeed it is operational.

Finally, another potential threat is North Korea's ability to deliver nukes to the Pacific seaboard via submarine. While the subs are diesel powered, and could be destroyed as soon as they left port - something US submarines are surely acutely aware of - they could target the US if they managed to get in close enough.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
localsavage's picture

More intelligence brought to you by the same people who guaranteed us that Iraq was full of WMD's?

Mimir's picture

With that approcah to any information you receive, you are sure to stay totally ignorant. Your choice !

localsavage's picture

Questioning the source of given imformation does exactly the opposite of what you are suggesting. The media and the government lie to us all of the time to get what they want.  The rise of independent reporting over the internet has really brought that to light in the past year.  At this point, one needs to wait a week before accepting any MSM story as they are constantly proven to be false.

HowdyDoody's picture

Tired of endless pizza stories? Try some all new North Korean sushi stories. You will soon forget you ever considered pizza worthy of attention.


MEFOBILLS's picture

Speaking of independent news:



NK wants U.S. to halt large scale exercises.  Everytime there is an excercise, NK agriculture is threatened.  An of course, exercises are planned to distrupt planting and harvesting.  NK has to divert manpower away from agriculture and toward defense during critical time periods. 

This offer has been on the table, and Obama administration, and now Trump has refused:

"As a first step, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) may suspend its nuclear and missile activities in exchange for the suspension of large-scale U.S.-Republic of Korea (ROK) military exercises," Wang told a press conference on the sidelines of the annual session of the National People's Congress.


North Korea justifies its nuclear program as the economically optimal way to respond to these maneuvers.


ZeroPointOn's picture
ZeroPointOn (not verified) MEFOBILLS Apr 16, 2017 5:26 PM

I'm making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life. This is what I do... http://bit.ly/2jdTzrM

RiverRoad's picture

Nothing threatens your agriculture more than when your own nuke misfires and ends up on you.

Blackfox's picture

Die six million times......

hestroy's picture

Some fitlhy kikes downvoted you.

Dog Will Hunt's picture

Typical knee-rashed TrumpSucker: "Bu...bu...Cheeto Jesus said it was true!!!"

Keep sucking, true believer.

tmosley's picture

I was not aware that North Korea broadcast military parades of Iraqi WMDs.

HardAssets's picture

Thankfully, the graphic didnt use dongs to illustrate their point.

Ecclesia Militans's picture

Just wait for the spin when millions of PLA troops wearing sandals made from old tires and hats woven from straw come across the border blowing bent trumpets and beating dented old gongs.

Nobodys Home's picture

Those guys fought for a cause (or at least they thought they did)...and had no problems dying for it. Tire sandals are better than being barefoot. And you can kill with no shoes on BTW.

ROI have always limited the response. So now they say military decision making has just been given back. (MOAB use decided by field officers)...I'm not sure if this is good or bad. If I were a soldier under fire I'd think it good. As a civilian, I don't trust or believe in the reasons we keep fighting useless endless wars.
I didn't down vote you.

Michael Bay's picture
Michael Bay (not verified) Apr 16, 2017 2:53 PM

Did Major Obvious make this article or what? Kim wants into MAD, of course he`ll be increasing his delivery capability.

Whalley World's picture

The truth is do you really want to find out what nefarious tools Lil Kim has up his sleeve?

atthelake's picture

For now, according to this, NK can hit Hawaii, Alaska and Washington State.

RiverRoad's picture

If they whack Amazon in Seattle, we're all up shit creek.   ;-)

gmrpeabody's picture

Hope that doen't affect my Prime membership...

DieselChadron's picture

Rriiightt.  Why is there no mention of the US $20gazillion missile defense system.  N Korea poses zero threat to the US.  The only reason MSM constantly makes up shit about N Korea is so that the US will always have an excuse to park nukes right next to Shanghai.  If North Korea and their 36 websites had never existed, MSM would first invent N Korea and then constantly make shit up about this country they invented so the the US will always have an excuse to park a bunch of nukes right next to Shanghai.

For anyone out there who actually believes this crap about how N Korea will ever somehow threaten mainland US with an ICBM, I've got some horrible news for you:  you're a of fuckin idiot.  

Lea's picture

Anyone believing North Korea is "isolated", I've got some horrible news for you: you are hopelessly misinformed.

China is a very close ally of the DPRK. So maybe those brand new ICBMs the North Koreans paraded are a gift from a friend. In which case they can reach the USA alright, moron.

DieselChadron's picture

are you shitting me???  do you realize that the last N Korean test launch didn't even get off the ground... and the US knew about it in real time?  there's a whole bunch of countries in the world that can hit US with an ICBM and there's a whole bunch of countries in the world that US can hit with an ICBM.  But, US has missile defense EVERYWHERE.  take my advice on this (seriously), don't fall for all the fear porn.  someone(s) very evil out there is/are trying to talk the American people into killing about a million totally defenseless people.  this evil someone will say it's in self defense, but in fact, it will just be cold blooded genocide.  don't fall for it.

beeeeeep's picture

Not "for now" since it's in development, not operational.

Hurricane Baby's picture

That reminds me: did anyone ever figure out whose sub it was that launched a missile off the California coast some years back?

Nobodys Home's picture

Mine. It ran off of revolutionary baking soda power.

Normalcy Bias's picture

Thank you, Bill and Hillary!

All part of the plan, I suppose. Let them arm up, so there's an excuse to take them down.

Dog Will Hunt's picture

Yep--gotta be Hitlery. Couldn't be any of you dumb fuck Republitard bloodsuckers. Can't POSSIBLY be the assholes who are CURRENTLY running all three branches, huh?

Keep blowing anything with an (R) beside it, true believer cuck.

Normalcy Bias's picture

The North Koreans were given Reactors that generate weapons-grade plutonium by the Clinton Administration, you ignorant fuckwit!

Thanks for exposing how idiotic and brainwashed you are for all to see on ZH.

I'm sure you've never heard of the Clinton Admin's involvement with Loral Space and China, either.

You're way out of your depth here, go play over at HuffPo with the other goldfish memory, sub 85 IQ Snowflakes.

UpAndDown's picture
UpAndDown (not verified) Apr 16, 2017 3:07 PM

IF, IF, IF, IF, IF, IF, IF, IF, IF it works ...

Nobodys Home's picture

That all depends on what the meaning of if is.

Jani's picture

Total BS, manufactured to keep the sheep scared shitless, compliant and to make us go shopping to buy shit that we don't need to soothe our fears and make us happy. 

I'm so jaded and sick of all the lies we've been fed, from the moon hoax, to 9/11 to Iraqi WMDs to SandyHoax etc., that I don't believe anything anymore -- I serously doubt we have any nukes, never mind NK.

Jani's picture

Seriously, a down-vote?


which lie do you believe? 


Santa Claus?

hestroy's picture

Only joos down voted you.

PitBullsRule's picture

and they let you vote?  

Jani's picture

LOL -- to paraphrase -- if voting mattered, it would be illegal.

idahobandito's picture

Fear Porn. The norks haven't had many successful tests at all. All have  dropped way short of their potential claimed range, and without even carrying a payload. The MSM is just inflating the "opponent's" capabilities so everyone demands the MIC build us a $$tronger defence.

Battlefield USA's picture

None of you understand. We're talking about NORTH KOREA here, not AL QAEDA!

In Official Washington, words rarely mean what they say. For instance, if a U.S. government official voices “high confidence” in a supposed “intelligence assessment,” that usually means “we don’t have any real evidence, but we figure that if we say ‘high confidence’ enough that no one will dare challenge us.”



Okay, okay, okay... here ya go:

“As a first step, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) may suspend its nuclear and missile activities in exchange for the suspension of large-scale U.S.-Republic of Korea (ROK) military exercises,” Wang told a press conference on the sidelines of the annual session of the National People’s Congress.

Now consider what the U.S. media don’t tell you about Korea

Or, how about...

“All three parties, North Korea, South Korea and the US, have direct responsibility - ­ the US in particular for its recent military drills and aircraft carrier deployment” off Pyongyang’s coastline.

Boo. Boo-Boo. Boo...

And don't forget to get on the penis pump pumper Trumpf train! And you too can pump it up!


Flybyknight's picture

Exactly North Korea feels threatened and builds up arnaments to defend itself. What a crime.


Nobodys Home's picture

"Wang told a press conference on the sidelines of the annual session of the National People’s Congress."

Wang...discussing No Dong missiles.

DeaconPews's picture

An obvious expert on phallic shaped/named devices.

PitBullsRule's picture

Its very embarassing how ignorant you are, please tell us you aren't American.

Bungbo's picture

moonofalabama.org   WTF?  Really?

Where barflies get together... and what?  Butt fuck each other?

Well, at least you didn't link to HuffPo.

Bam_Man's picture

Hard to believe that their missile with the shortest range (reaches Tokyo) is called the "No-Dong".

You could never get away with making this stuff up.

Nobodys Home's picture

Strange name for a phallic shaped explosive device.


That name is probably the way some CIA analyst is telling us all these charts are BS.

Mamzer Ben Zonah's picture

No Dong is the name of a village near where the missile of that name was first tested. 

Maybe the Norks are so isolated they didn't know what No Dong meant; or maybe one of the Norks decided to embarass the bosses .... 

gatorengineer's picture

I wonder what this look a squirrel move is really covering?  50k troops for starters to Syria or something else?