By 2020, North Korea could possess as many as 100 nuclear warheads.

That's the startling conclusion of a January 2019 report from the RAND Corporation, a California think tank with close ties to the U.S. military.

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U.S. Navy/Latonja Martin

A groundbreaking missile defense test is expected soon on Kauai that has ramifications for the defense of Hawaii from North Korean ballistic missiles.

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KCNA/Associated Press

After a months-long pause in its intercontinental ballistic missile tests, North Korea on Nov. 28 conducted the maiden launch of the Hwasong 15 — an ICBM that state media characterized as the rogue nation’s “most powerful” missile yet, topped with a "super-large heavy warhead” and capable of striking the mainland United States. 

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Photo via DoD

Nuclear deterrence, the U.S. military ace card that hasn’t been played much since the U.S.S.R. collapsed in a heap, is a hot item again. President Donald Trump remains locked in a months-long war of words with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un over the country’s nuclear program, raising the anxiety over global nuclear war to its highest levels since 1983’s WarGames spurred presidential action (really). The Pentagon is considering returning to a 24-hour “strip alert” for nuclear-capable bombers for the first time since the end of the Cold War. And on Nov. 14, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee took a long, hard look at the commander-in-chief’s nuclear launch authority in light of Trump’s unusual first year in office.

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Photo via KCNA/Business Insisder

North Korea's foreign minister called President Donald Trump's comments at the UN General Assembly a clear "declaration of war" that would lead the country to try to shoot down U.S. strategic bombers even if they're not in North Korea's airspace, according to the BBC.

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