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The Boston Globe

World

North Korea’s real threat might be electronic

SEOUL — This week, North Korea’s young leader, Kim Jong Un, ordered his underlings to prepare for a missile attack on the United States. He appeared at a command center in front of a wall map with the bold, unlikely title, ‘‘Plans to attack the Mainland US.’’ Earlier in the month, his generals boasted of developing a ‘‘Korean-style’’ nuclear warhead that could be fitted atop a long-range missile.

But the missile systems that figure in Kim’s blitz of threats and orders do not yet have the range to approach US shores. There is no evidence his nuclear weapons can be shrunk to fit atop a missile. And a prominent photograph showing Kim’s military launching a Normandy-style beach landing appears to have been manufactured, raising questions about whether his forces could possibly repeat the feat his grandfather pulled off in 1950, launching a ground attack to open the Korean War.

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