Guam and other bases in Japan and South Korea are considered to be within striking distance of North Korean ballistic missiles. Despite severe internal problems, North Korea has invested its limited resources into ballistic missiles.
Although not as sophisticated as those in Russia and China, the North Korean arsenal has several ballistic missiles with which it could potentially launch an attack, including:
For its part, the US has invested significant resources into ballistic missile defense. It has a range of systems of systems available to form a multi-layered defense under the guidance of the Missile Defense Agency (MDA), including:
- Ground Based Interceptor (GBI)
intercepts. Other systems, such as the Airborne Laser (ABL) may also join service.
While ballistic missile defense true effectiveness is something that has been debated extensively, it is something that can only be determined for sure in an actual conflict under real conditions.
However, there is very little doubt that todays systems are more capable than ever. Today's technology has made possible what wasn't doable in the past during say the eighties.
Of course, this applies equally for both the attacking and defending sides. As technology continues to progress, what's impossible can become possible. It is up to each country to make sure that they keep up, don't fall behind and perhaps even gain an advantage over opponents.