Here’s why North Korea’s attack plan on U.S. is a joke

As already explained, Kim Jong Un has approved an attack plan on targets located in the Pacific and mainland U.S. following the yesterday long range round robin mission over South Korea.

Photos published in KCNA state agency allegedly show the places threatened by the “U.S. Mainland Strike Plan”: San Diego, Washington DC, Austin and Honolulu.

Among the various reasons to doubt about North Korea’s capability to hit Continental U.S. with ballistic missiles, there is also the map deliberately exposed by the images of Kim Jon Un meeting with his military aides on Mar. 29.

Indeed, Pyongyang’s missiles would find it extremely difficult to reach their intended targets following the path drawn on that map, instead of a great circle route.

A great circle is the shortest path interconnecting two points on a sphere.

Since Earth is almost spherical, routes followed by aircraft (or ballistic missiles…) follow great circles between departure and destination (in case of commercial planes route depends also on ATC restrictions, diplomatic clearances required to overfly particular countries, the strong effect of the wind etc).

The following maps would have been a bit more credible.

NK attack plan

NK attack plan 2

Images generated with Great Circle Mapper. Top image credit: KCNA via Business Insider


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About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


  1. I wonder if this general/kernel intentionally left this map like this to signal that this is not serious. he looks so ashamed in this picture.

  2. I agree with this article, but I certainly wouldn’t rely solely on this ridiculous map to rule out the possibility they have ICBM capabilities. What ever happened to the good ole days of Espionage? Where’s Julian Assange, when we actually could use his leaks to feel more reassured about this batshit crazy regime.

  3. Their rockets are very hit & miss anyway, mostly miss, or rather fail miserably. None of the known missiles have enough range to hit even Hawaii.

    It’ll be interesting to see how China treats them, they used to be their unflinching ally, now North Korea are an annoyance that can ruin the Chinese economy.

  4. That map says “North America Attack plan”. Well… They are gonna attack South america!

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