Why North Korea Can’t Build An ICBM (yet)

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An intercontinental ballistic missile, or ICBM is a missile long range over 5,500 kilometers, one using a trajectory ballistics involving a significant ascent and descent, including suborbital trajectories and partially orbital, developing along the space race. An ICBM differs from other ballistic missiles such as the IRBM which stands for Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile or SRBM Short Range Ballistic Missile, short-range ballistic missile in scope. The maximum scope of an ICBM is delimited by arms control pacts that prohibit orbital or partially orbital flights.

As of October 2017, only four countries have intercontinental ballistic missile systems: the United States, Russia, China and North Korea. France has very long-range IRBM and is finalizing the development of a submarine launch ICBM intercontinental ballistic missile for submarines. India is also in the final stages of development of its own ICBM. In general, any country able to place an ingenuity in space could develop an ICBM in a short period.