As North Korea continues to talk of war against their neighbor to the south, they've also started to threaten the United States, saying that "thermonuclear war" may be on the horizon. Reality, yet again, is not on the side of Pyongyang. The North Koreans still need a few things - a reliable long range, intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), a nuclear warhead built to fit that missile, and the technology that can guide it through launch, reentry, and hitting the target North Korea has test fired a number of missiles with varying ranges. They've been successful with some short and medium range platforms, but their long range capabilities have been marked with many failures.
These include its Taepodong-1 rocket launch in 1998, which failed to reach orbit, and its Taepodong-2 in 2006, which ended up exploding only 40 seconds after takeoff. They are slowly progressing though, with a new system (they claim is only for launching satellites) called Unha-3 boasting a range of approximately 6,000 miles (Pyongyang to San Francisco is about 5,600). The US is fully capable of defending against any North Korean ballistic missile attack North Korea certainly has the capability of hitting their regional neighbors — Japan, Guam, and South Korea — but a defiant Kim Jong-Un claiming he's ready to launch nukes at the United States, is nothing but talk — and everyone knows it.