UCLA expert weighs in on North Korea missile threat
LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Monday marked the first time the North Koreans successfully launched a three-stage rocket. It would take three stages to successfully reach California. But experts say it will take a lot more development before the North Koreans have the capability to hit the United States with a heavy nuclear warhead.
The United States has many rockets capable of intercepting another rocket fired toward the country, and many nuclear weapons that could retaliate.
Dr. Robert Carnesale teaches at UCLA. The national security expert spent many years working on international strategic arms limitation talks.
"They might be able to reach the mainland, even within five years," he said. "There's a big difference between that and reaching the mainland with a nuclear weapon, and that's probably way off before they can do that."
Carnesale says the North Koreans are probably trying to get the world's attention and they've been successful.
Symbolically their missile launch sends a message to the United States, China, South Korea and the rest of the world that they can be a force to be reckoned with.
But while it worries Pentagon planners, the missiles in the Chinese arsenal now could be intercepted by U.S. missiles.
"It wouldn't be effective against a missile force as large as the Russians or the Chinese, but if you are talking about one two or three missiles, or five, it's quiet possible we could intercept that successfully," said Carnesale.
With a successful launch, North Korea has shown the world that it is on the way toward developing a missile that could cover thousands of miles and land in the United States.
north korea, world news, john north
- Malaysia Airlines missing jet: Oil slicks found
- LAPD officer recovering after fatal BH crash 30 min ago
- Teen survives 5 Fwy crash, killed by traffic 45 min ago
- Sheila MacRae of 'The Honeymooners' dies
- Cat rescued from 91 Fwy divider in Riverside 6 min ago
- Temecula man arrested in drug sales bust
- Westminster deadly car crash: Driver sought
- Obama to preserve California federal lands 3 min ago
- abcnews: Woman has 'out of body' experience at will
- Bond set for mom who drove kids into ocean
- Russia reinforces military presence in Crimea
- New Toyota Highlander carries on legacy
- L.A. man wanted in attempted Banksy theft 48 min ago
- OTRC: Khloe Kardashian topless in first Vine video