The North Korean nuclear threat last year hit milestones at a faster pace in several months — last July Pyongyang tested two suspected intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and its timeline for fielding a reliable ICBM was pushed up by two years for starters. The North has said it wouldn't resort to diplomacy until it could hit the U.S. East Coast. But where exactly does the North Korean nuclear program stand right now amidst all these developments?
Why it matters:
North Korea's not quite at the point of fielding a reliable ICBM to hit the U.S. mainland — yet (and that's the key word here). Experts suggested Pyongyang could have been there by the end of 2017, but U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis this past December said he didn't think they could hit the U.S. mainland yet. The Pentagon wouldn't comment on intelligence on the matter.