Kim Jong-Un North Korea is well on its way toward a long-sought goal of being able to hit an American city with a nuclear weapon — and likely has an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching the mainland, thanks to a powerful new main engine, The New York Times reported. But the rogue state still has to overcome a number of challenges, according to the Times, including:
- Developing a missile warhead that can stand the heat and friction of atmospheric re-entry — a feat some experts say North Korea will have perfected by next year if it has not already.
- Making a bomb that can fit in a missile.
The Times noted pictures have surfaced of leader Kim Jong Un admiring a miniaturized bomb meant to fit into a warhead, though it is impossible to say if the real thing or a mock-up. Hitting a target halfway around the world. North Korea's current accuracy of about 2-3 miles is good enough to be able to hit a military installation, the Times reported, and it appears to be working toward a leaner, more accurate design for its missile warheads. Making a more powerful bomb, which would sidestep the accuracy problem, according to the Times.
Analysts believe the North has weapons with about the same or slightly more destructive power as the Hiroshima bomb. To raise the destructive power, it would have to add thermonuclear fuel, the Times reported. Evading U.S. defense systems. North Korea is already looking for ways to improve its penetration of antimissile defenses currently, the Times reported.