But US forces in South Korea and Japan are well within range of medium-range North Korean rockets. In an effort to bolster regional deterrence, the US in recent days has announced it is moving more missile-defense cruisers into the Pacific while speeding up deployment of land-based missile defenses on Guam, home to many US warships and jets.
That said, aspects of North Korea’s alleged attack plans are ludicrous enough to verge on comic opera, according to some experts.
For instance, on March 29 North Korea’s state news agency released photos of current leader Kim Jong-un meeting with military aides in front of a large map outlining the paths of possible missile strikes on the US.
As military blogger David Cenciotti notes on his blog, The Aviationist, North Korean missiles would find it “extremely difficult” to reach the US along the map’s straight lines. Since Earth is a sphere, the shortest routes for intercontinental airplane and missile flights are great circle trips over the poles. On flat maps those show up as deeply bent arcs, not arrows.