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Analysis: A North Korea nuclear attack could cause up to 2 million casualties

AOL.com editors

As Kim Jong Un's hermit regime continues to test and develop its nuclear arsenal, a new analysis estimates how many deaths a North Korea nuclear attack could bring.

According to a new Johns Hopkins University analysis, a nuclear attack from North Korea could bring up to two million deaths in Japan and South Korea.

The report was published by the school’s U.S.-Korea Institute, and uses North Korea’s estimated nuclear capabilities in calculating the number of casualties that would come from an attack.

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Report author Michael J. Zagurek Jr. ran multiple scenarios with the premise that North Korea maintains 25 working nuclear weapons with a warhead ranging from 15 kilotons (equal to Hiroshima) and 250 kilotons (equal to the estimate of the test ran on Sept. 3).

"Multiple nuclear weapon detonations on both Seoul and Tokyo based on the current North Korea yield estimates could result in anywhere from 400,000 to 2 million deaths," Zagurek says in his analysis. "With possible thermonuclear yields with the same number of weapons, the number of deaths could range between 1.3 and 3.8 million."

U.S. President Trump ordered new sanctions on North Korea in September that open the door wider to blacklisting people and entities doing business with the country after referring to Kim Jong Un as "Rocket Man" via Twitter earlier in the month. While mitigation and containment remain the central message of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary James Mattis, tensions between the U.S. and North Korea remain in the balance as North Korea continues to boast itself as a weapons-capable nation.

Intelligence experts have predicted another provocation from North Korea as soon as next week due to a special anniversary in Pyongyang on Oct. 10.

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