A report compiled by the European Council on Foreign Relations lists what are, according to inside sources, North Korea’s top missile-strike targets.
They include the United States mainland at large and specifically the White House, the Pentagon, and Manhattan.
The intelligence gathered by the council also suggests that nuclear weapons could be used to attack each of those sites.
Under what circumstances North Korea would launch a nuclear missile is unclear, as, according to the report, “Unlike other nuclear-armed states, [it] has not published a clear official statement setting out its nuclear doctrine – the circumstances under which it would launch a strike.”
The council further notes that the reclusive country may believe striking first would be to its advantage due to the slim chances that its regime would remain intact if the U.S. were the first to attack.
Tensions between the two countries have intensified in recent times, and North Korea recently gave a forceful response to the U.S. for re-listing it as a state sponsor of terrorism.
A spokesperson for North Korea told one of the nation’s state-sponsored news outlets, “This is a serious provocation and a violent infringement upon our dignified country,” and noted its civilians and military are, “hardening their will to settle all accounts with those gangsters at any time in any way.”
1. While Kim Jong Un’s birthday on January 8 is a national holiday, it is unknown exactly how old the North Korean leader is. It’s widely believed he is in his early-mid thirties. In 2016, the U.S. Treasury Department listed his birth year as 1984 when they placed sanctions on North Korea.
(KCNA via REUTERS)
2. Kim Jong Un is the world’s youngest leader, according to the date listed by the Treasury.
3. Kim Jong Un is very passionate about basketball. He is reportedly a big fan of Michael Jordan and has a friendly relationship with Jordan’s former Chicago Bulls teammate Dennis Rodman. Rodman has visited the secluded nation multiple times and even sang him “Happy Birthday” before an exhibition game in Jan. 2014.
5. Kim Jong Un’s older half-brother Kim Jong Nam was killed in Feb. 2017 by two women who smeared VX nerve agent on his face at an airport in Kuala Lumpur. The women were arrested following his death. Many believe the hit was directed by North Korea.
6. Kim Jong Un has two college degrees. One is in physics from Kim il Sung University and another as an Army officer obtained from the Kim Il Sung Military University.
7. Kim Jong Un attended boarding school in Switzerland. It is widely disputed how much time he spent at the school. Most reports say he was abroad from 1998-2000.
8. Kim Jong Un is the only general in the world that does not have any military experience.
9. He married Ri Sol Ju in 2009. The couple has at least one daughter named Ju Ae.
10. Kim Jong Un had his uncle Jang Song Thaek arrested and executed for treachery in 2013.
11. Kim Jong Un hand selected North Korea’s first all-female music group — Moranbong Band. They made their debut in 2012.
(ED JONES/AFP/Getty Images)