The Joint Staff assessment was ordered following recent intelligence reports indicating development work on the North Korean KN-08 mobile ICBM is nearing completion. Several KN-08s were spotted moving around North Korea in January.
The assessment is also expected to address whether North Korea will share the mobile ICBM technology with Iran. North Korea in the past has sold and shared its ballistic missile technology with Tehran, including the medium-range Nodong that Iran calls the Shahab-3.
The study is expected to impact the Obama administration’s plans for U.S. missile defenses.
Currently, the Pentagon operates a limited missile defense system designed to counter a small number of long-range North Korean missiles with 30 interceptors based in Alaska and California.