A number of sources have told South Korea's Yonhap news agency that North Korea just moved its mid-range Musudan missile to the east coast of the country. That's towards the United States. But don't worry. It's towards a lot of other stuff, too, notably the Pacific Ocean where many of North Korea's failed missile tests have landed.
Before getting into the specifics of this latest provocation, let us remind you that the escalation of North Korea's threatening rhetoric is just that: threatening rhetoric. Kim Jong-Un and friends have been slinging increasingly threatening threats at the United States and allies (read: South Korea) for weeks now, and yet, we're not swimming in a river of fire and our waists are not broken, as Kim Jong-Un promised they would be.
Things get a little more worrisome when North Korea actually starts moving its arsenal around. According to Yonhap's sources, a Musudan missile made its way by train to the country's east coast early Thursday morning. Japan's Asahi Shimbun published similar reports, signaling that this is no false alarm. It's so far unclear if had been moved to the spot on the northeastern coast where North Korea has launched many (failed) missile launches in the past. But it's never a good sign to see North Korea translating its trash-talk into arming weapons.
As for the more practical implications of a move like this, we can confidently say that you should not be worried right now. The mid-range missiles can only reach as far as the U.S. base in Guam, where military personnel recently armed its missile defense system, among other precautionary measures. With a range of about 1,875 miles, this particular missile can't come close to U.S. shores. It can reach South Korea, an American ally, and if that attack happens, things could get pretty nasty.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.