North Korea missile defense

How would the U.S. protect itself from a possible North Korean nuclear strike? ABC's Arlette Saenz reports.
2:48 | 08/09/17

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Transcript for North Korea missile defense
Well experts say North Korea believes that having a nuclear. Tipped missile capable of striking the United States would be the ultimate guarantee against invasion. For more on Kim Jones latest nuclear event says and how the US would protect itself. It's created ABC's are let signs covers the White House fours I let Howard do we need to be right now. We'll be intelligence community's assessment that North Korea successfully miniaturized a nuclear weapon. Marks the biggest advancement in the regimes of nuclear capability. Now the question is how could the US stop a nuclear war head from hitting the country. North Korea successful production of a miniaturized warhead to fit atop one of its missiles shows another signed the regime's nuclear program is moving faster than predicted intelligence analysts have determined a North Korean missile could reach at least the West Coast but may be capable of going as far as new York and Washington DC. One option interrupt the missile heading towards the US something called a ground based interceptor the US currently has 36 of these in place at bases in Alaska in California if US radars were able to detect a missile launch by Kim Jung moon. Missiles could be fired off into space and collide with the nuclear warhead it's essentially like a bullet hitting a bullet it would stop the North Korean missile from striking did you last back in May the US successfully intercepted an Intercontinental ballistic missile during a test of a ground based intercept system in California. Those ground based. Interceptors have a bit of a mixed track record the success rate for tests isn't about 50%. But it's still one of the military's best options and limit the diplomatic options how are those looking at how to they mesh with. Trump's comments law this is going to be a tricky line for the top administration to lock because the president's comments were overtly militaristic. At a time. When his top lieutenants over the State Department. And at the UN are. Pushing a more diplomatic approach she had Nikki Haley he was championing a victory when she got me. Russia in China to sign onto this UN sanctions. The S secretary of state Rex Tillerson who is in the region saying that the US could be open to talks with North Korea us of the presents comments are complicating a bit and that diplomatic messaging. But we've we've always known that he wants keep that military option on the table. And Jurcina whether or not they actually knew the president would say those comments that he did yesterday and many Carlin the Red Line indeed. Weren't scared enough. Police now insert the editors of the New York Daily News it cannot rely on them exit. This is a front page this morning arm and get done. And scary but creative. It is scary but creative I mean god I'd like the the bill that the fire effect in the middle. Well Kim Jung un and the president there believe not a foreshadowing. From what Attica Bartlett thank you so much we appreciate the analysis.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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