字幕表 動画を再生する 英語字幕をプリント North Korea has been showing off its latest range of ballistic missiles and this map shows how far each one can go. As you can see, it looks like most of the United States is in range and it's got people panicking. "The real fear is that North Korea is getting closer to having a missile that could reach the... mainland United States, the west coast United States, Hawaii and Alaska and the west coast. But a closer look reveals that this map doesn't exactly tell the full story... as of right now. The longest range missile the one that's supposed to put the US in danger, is the Taepodong-2. it's an intercontinental ballistic missile or ICBM. It's the kind of thing that the US and Russia have thousands of and had used as a threat against each other during the Cold War. "Hold at the ready never less than a thousand missiles. North Korea has been working on one of its own for quite a while, except their version doesn't really work. North Koreans have had nuclear bombs since 2006 and they could certainly attack their neighbors. But they've had no real way to deliver them to a distant target. They could try and drop one from an airplane but it would be likely shot down well before getting to the target. The most effective way to use a nuclear bomb is to attach it to a missile. Different delivery systems determine how far the target can be. North Korea already has a huge arsenal of short and medium-range missiles but it doesn't have a working ICBM, which can hit a target 15,000 kilometers away because it's actually four missiles in one. Stacked on top of each other, each missile is used one by one to push the warhead into space. Then once it's over target, this fourth section re-enters the atmosphere and detonates. This is a very hard thing to engineer and it's exactly why North Korea doesn't have a working Taepodong-2 yet. Under the pretense of testing a rocket engine the country has tested it five times and it's failed three times. It's managed to launch into space twice but it's never made it close to the final and crucial stage of reentry. Theoretically North Korea has two other ICBMs: the KN-14 and the KN-08 that are capable of reaching the US west coast. But neither of these have been tested yet. So in reality, North Korea cannot hit the US with a nuclear ICBM today. That's the good news. The bad news is that they've been trying to build one for more than a decade and experts think they'll have an ICBM before 2027. That's because the US intelligence community believes North Korea may have achieved one of the hardest parts of building an ICBM; making a nuclear bomb small enough to fit on one. A smaller bomb will make the missile lighter and more efficient, making this range very possible for a functioning Taepodong-2 or KN-14. So this begs the question: what would happen if North Korea gets a working an ICBM? It helps to understand why they want one in the first place. The North Koreans first got nuclear technology in the 1950s when their ally, the Soviet Union, helped them build nuclear reactors for energy. At the same time they were protected from their enemies, South Korea and the US, by the massive nuclear arsenal of the Soviet Union. But in 1991 when the Soviet Union collapsed that protection went away. So North Korean dictator Kim jong-il took matters into his own hands and started using the nuclear reactors to make weapons. The US didn't want an aggressive rogue state to have nuclear weapons so three consecutive US presidents all tried different tactics to get North Korea to stop. Clinton negotiated, Bush suspended negotiations and threaten them, and Obama simply tried to wait North Korea out. But every single plan failed to stop the nuclear program. And there's a reason for that. The Kim dynasty believes their only option for security is to have proven nuclear capabilities. They saw the US invade Iraq and topple Saddam Hussein because they thought he might have nukes. They also saw Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi negotiate with the US and give up his nuclear program. Only to be killed by US-backed rebels. The Kim dynasty is determined not to be next. So they've gone on to build an arsenal of missiles for their nuclear bombs. The Nodong is functional today and has a range of fifteen hundred kilometers. North Korea's SCUD missiles are highly effective within a thousand kilometers. This puts North Korea's main enemies, South Korea and Japan, within range. As well as a sixty-two thousand US troops stationed there. In fact North Korea wants to make that loud and clear. And it does so by successfully testing these short-range missiles a lot. The tests provide a chance for them to improve their missiles, but more importantly they send a political message. South Korea and Japan wouldn't attack North Korea because they've seen the missiles that could devastate some of their largest cities. Also they don't have nuclear weapons of their own. So what's keeping North Korea from attacking its enemies? The US is. They've promised to protect South Korea and Japan with the largest nuclear arsenal in the world. This puts North Korea at a disadvantage; it knows the US can obliterate it but it can't reach the US just yet. This is why the US can safely cut off North Korean trade and enact other punishments. And this brings us back to why North Korea wants an ICBM so badly; it's what they need to tip the scales in their favor. Right now North Korea can only attack US allies. If it can successfully test the Taepodong-2 it would be the same as telling the US: if you nuke us, we'll nuke you. If the US knows North Korea can target an American city it'll be less likely to come to the aid of South Korea or Japan. This would effectively break up the alliance that's designed to keep North Korea in check. But the implications of this would go far beyond the Korean Peninsula. Suddenly in charge of their own protection, South Korea and Japan would potentially develop nuclear weapons of their own. Something Donald Trump once said he would be fine with. This would trigger a process called a nuclear proliferation, and it's exactly what the US has been trying to prevent since the Cold War. Right now there are 9 countries with nuclear weapons of their own. 190 maintain a non-nuclear status because of the non-proliferation treaty. But the success of a North Korean ICBM could change that. If South Korea and Japan start looking to change their nuclear status, it could encourage other countries to do the same. So experts are urging the US and take action now while it still can. President Trump is pressing China to help. See China continues to trade and have a diplomatic relationship with North Korea, essentially keeping the regime alive. So if Trump can get China to leverage or cut off that support, North Korea might not have enough resources to keep pursuing an ICBM. But for now as North Korea continues to test and parade missiles, tensions continue to rise and the push to keep them from having a nuclear ICBM gets stronger; not because of the danger it poses to the US alone, but because of the repercussions that could be so severe and so far reaching.