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November 27, 2017

Does North Korea have a missile capable of striking the US mainland with a nuclear warhead?

Given the recent surge in the DPRK’s missile tests and nuclear test explosions, and the trash talk between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un,  that’s a legitimate—and worrisome—question. But the preoccupation with answering that question and then deciding how best to disarm North Korea diverts attention from the fact that there are eight other nuclear-armed states that, among them, can target virtually every populated area—and most of the unpopulated ones—on the face of the Earth.

A new graphic created by the team at IR Online, American University’s International Relations online program shows that no one is beyond the reach of a nuclear-armed missile, whether it’s launched from a land-based silo or a submarine deployed by one of the possessor states. While the web of missile paths criss-crossing the world is an approximation based on average ranges for each country’s missiles, the truth it conveys is inescapable: as long as nuclear weapons exist, every one of us is a target, and there is no place to hide.

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