A recent study conducted by Chinese scientists has revealed that a North Korean missile could reach the mainland US in just 33 minutes. The simulation was based on the launch of the Hwasong-15 missile, which has an effective range of 13,000 km and is capable of hitting the entire US homeland. The study found that targets on both the east and west coasts of the US would be within easy reach.
The US missile defence headquarters would be alerted about 20 seconds after the missile is launched, and the first batch of intercepting missiles from Fort Greely in Alaska would take off within 11 minutes. If the first set fails, another wave of interceptors would be launched from the Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. However, according to the Centre for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, the US misile defence system has been 55 percent effective and cannot be relied upon to protect the US from even an extremely limited attack.