missile is a weapon that is capable of high-velocity
flight, using a self-propulsion device such as a
jet engine. In modern usage, the term usually refers
to guided missiles, or missiles that are able to
modify their trajectory in mid-flight to accurately
reach a target.
Guided missiles can be categorized according to
the guidance system employed: remote or self-tracking.
Generally, a missile consists of the propulsion
device, guidance system, calibration/stabilization
devices, explosives/detonators, and the missile
body in which these devices are housed. Missiles
that can reach targets 1,000~5,500km away are categorized
as intermediate-range missiles, while those with
an effective range of 500~1,000km are categorized
as short-range missiles. (Definition: Intermediate-range
Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, 1987).
a missile is a device that can carry weapons, usually
bombs or explosives, and can guide or track itself
during mid-flight to accurately hit a stationary
or moving target. Accordingly, a discussion on nuclear
capabilities has little meaning without a discussion
on missile capabilities. That is, even a highly
sophisticated nuclear bomb is rendered useless in
the absence of a device to carry it accurately to
its target. So the term ‘nuclear weapon’ usually
refers to a missile equipped with a nuclear warhead.
Missiles vary in their effective ranges: from close-range
missiles for local warfare to ICBMs (intercontinental
ballistic missile) that can strike targets located
on the other side of the globe. Missiles can be
launched from stationary launch pads, railroad cars,
trucks, aircraft, warships, and even submarines.
There are even portable missiles that can be carried
and launched by individuals.
When one discusses North Korea’s nuclear missile
capabilities, one is usually referring to strategic-level
arms, especially intermediate-range ballistic missiles.