PHOTOS: North Korea’s Hwasong-15 Intercontinental Ballistic Missile

They’re getting closer.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made several threats to attack the US mainland in the past.

But Mike Elleman, a leading missile expert, claims despite the missile’s size it still probably couldn’t send a heavy nuclear warhead as far as the US’s east coast.

In a detailed assessment for 38 North, a program of the US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins SAIS, Elleman states when North Korea demonstrated the 8,000-mile range of the Hwasong-15 and its other long-range missiles, they “likely carried very small payloads.”

Elleman estimates that the new missiles would struggle to reach the US’s west coast with an effectively sized nuclear warhead aboard.

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