One day after the 72nd anniversary of the second and hopefully last nuclear bomb detonated in anger (over Nagasaki on 9 August 1945), North Korea outlined a plan to launch four intermediate-range Hwasong-12 missiles towards the U.S. territory of Guam with targets in the Pacific Ocean 30-40 km from Guam. The plan is in response to remarks by U.S. President Donald Trump which threatened "fire and fury" in response to any North Korean attack against the United States. Although North Korea is believed to possess nuclear warheads small enough to fit inside its missiles any warning attack near Guam would surely use conventional warheads.
Today's Featured Map shows the path from North Korean capital Pyongyang (a proxy for the launch point for the missiles) to Guam International Airport in central Guam and a 40-km range around the airport. The path passes between Hiroshima and Nagasaki—the estimated hypocenters of the atomic bombs dropped over those cities in 1945 are shown. Seoul is also marked—the capital of South Korea would almost certainly be a North Korean target if hostilities were to escalate.
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Karl L. Swartz.
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