"An ICBM, as its name implies, can travel from one continent to another. Once launched, ICBMs travel in a parabola, much like a baseball flying through the air. Just like a baseball, an ICBM can be released at any angle. But in North Korea's case, the ICBMs are being launched "almost straight up," Coyle told Live Science. "They fly straight up against the force of gravity and come down some distance from North Korea … If they're long-range, [the North Koreans] usually drop them on the other side of Japan, which, of course, makes Japan very nervous."
It's important to note that North Korea wouldn't aim its ICBMs straight up if it wanted to launch an actual attack. "They'd launch toward their target, which might be thousands of miles away," Coyle said. That means that even though the Hwasong-15, the latest ICBM, traveled about 620 miles (1,000 kilometers) from its launch site, it could travel much farther — likely more than 8,100 miles (13,000 km) from its launch site if it had a standard trajectory, according to a Nov. 28 blog written by missile expert David Wright.
However, it's challenging to know how far a battle-ready North Korean ICBM would fly, as its "practice" ICBM likely had a light payload or none at all. Such a payload — like a nuclear warhead — would weigh down the ICBM and limit the distance it could travel, Coyle said." Space.com
Achievement of a miniaturized nuclear warhead for this beast is just a matter of time and effort. NoKo progress so far exceeds expectations. Why should it not continue to do so? For a literally wormy lot, they have an impressive ability to build these things. I remember my father (a Korean War veteran at age 50) telling me that Korean farmers used human feces to fertilize their fields and that as a result the population was rotten with parasites. (parental reference).
My point is that NoKo will achieve what amounts to a first strike capability with their first and last ICBM to be launched at the US. Would we be lucky and have the thing hit Toronto rather than NY City? Who knows? IMO it would be the luck of the draw given the probable CEP of a NoKo ballistic missile.
How big a warhead would the thing be armed with? Would it function after re-entry? Who knows?
Ballistic missiles are very different weapons from the usual run of destructive instruments. I was in Baghdad during the harb al-mudun (war of the cities) when Iran and Iraq were pummeling each other with SCUDS. (self glorifying reference) There was little warning. Occasionally a few seconds of radar driven siren, but usually there would be ordinary city noise followed by a very loud noise and a building would be gone. I made it a habit to stay on the middle floors of hotels to avoid the consequences of a rooftop hit or a ground burst next to the hotel. pl