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Following North Korea’s most recent missile tests in July, experts now warn Auckland, Waikato and Northland are within range of an intercontinental attack.
Following the rogue state’s second test, estimates are its intercontinental ballistic missile, the Hwasong-14, has a range of 10,000km.
An ABC News Australia graphic revealed the upper half of the North Island is in range. Auckland is 9810km away from North Korea’s capital Pyongyang.
Should estimations be correct, the Hwasong-14 could hit all of Australia, Los Angeles, most of Europe, and experts indicate Washington and New York could be in reach given the rotation of the earth increases the range of missiles fired in an easterly direction.
North Korea also has an array of space launch vehicles, which it has used to put satellites into orbit, according to ABC.
‘‘Some estimates put their reach at 15,000km in a three-stage configuration. Under this scenario, the only continent that would be largely safe would be South America.’’
Foreign Affairs Minister Gerry Brownlee previously said North Korea’s missile development was a concern for New Zealand and any interaction with Kim Jong-un needed to be treated with the greatest care.
'‘This guy is irrational.
‘‘He’s nuts and not a sort of person that you’d want to have with a finger anywhere near the trigger of a nuclear weapon’’.
He also said it was a time for ‘‘cool heads’’ and any response to North Korea’s actions had to be ‘‘very carefully considered’’.
‘‘We continue to have dialogue with partner countries and will continue to support diplomatic efforts to bring about a resolution.’’
Despite concerns, the majority of North Korea’s long-range missile capability remains largely untested.
New Zealanders in Japan, South Korea and neighbouring countries are being warned to keep themselves updated on the latest developments with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs warning that further provocations were possible.
‘‘Tensions on the Korean Peninsula could escalate with little warning and New Zealanders in Japan are advised to monitor the media to stay informed of any developments and follow any alerts and instructions issued by the local authorities.’’