FIGURE 1-1 Hypothetical range of Iranian ballistic missiles.
as two- or three-stage intermediate-range ballistic missiles (IRBMs). The larger circle in Figure 1-1 shows that a notional three-stage missile employing Iran’s currently demonstrated solid-propellant technology could reach approximately 5,600 km, thus threatening virtually all of Europe, including the United Kingdom, the Eurasian landmass, and much of northern Africa. To the southeast it would reach almost to the straits of Malacca and considerably beyond Diego Garcia. With this capability, there may be little need to add ICBM capability to dissuade U.S. or NATO intervention to thwart Iran’s ambitions.
North Korea is a somewhat different story compared to Iran. To date, it has shown little interest in long-range solid-propellant missiles, instead focusing on building bigger and more capable liquid-propellant systems. While some view the Taepo Dong 2 as a potential threat to the United States, the committee thinks this is unlikely. A more immediate threat is a new 3,200 km IRBM North Korea is developing that can threaten Japan, Guam, and Okinawa—all staging areas for a U.S. response to aggressive behavior by North Korea.4
4Ibid., p. 5.