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 4451 Articles
David Cenciotti is a freelance 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 four books.

6 Comments

    • Thanks for posting, this reminds me of the Q-ship concept, back then the British had top mounted cannons in answers to the submarine, maybe depth charges too. With something of this size, it wouldn’t be hard to add a radar platform, assuming the civilian(hapless juicy looking tug) “target” has a good enough set? Its advanced… but this might just turn the “invaders” to then start shooting anything under the flag, makes sense but then there will be the question of tracking.

  1. IAD? DCA (Arlington, VA) would be a better target. Dulles is way out in Ashburn. And DCA would have the added benefit of destroying that awful Reagan statue.

  2. North Korea is such a great country that they haven’t yet realized that the earth is round.

  3. Does it really matter? The map could be showing that ‘this missile
    battery will hit this target, this one will hit that target’ etc. The
    lack of correct trajectory doesn’t really matter, the missiles aren’t
    going to follow a paper map.

    That said, of course it’s a joke. The North Koreans aren’t going to, and can’t, nuke us. They’re just, you know, nuts.

  4. Or, they used a different projection. Like Mercator, I think, where GCRs appear straight?

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