Colorado's Homeland Security and Emergency Management closely monitoring North Korea

Posted at 5:32 PM, Aug 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-01 20:41:13-04

CENTENNIAL, Colo. -- Colorado's director of Homeland Security and Emergency Management is closely monitoring the threat from North Korea.

Kevin Klein said his office is in continuous contact with the United States Department of Homeland Security as well as NORAD. So far they have not been told to elevate their alert status.

In an interview with Denver7's Molly Hendrickson, Klein said if North Korea were to launch an intercontinental ballistic missile like the one they tested Friday, it would take about 30 minutes to reach Colorado.

"We've got systems to do notifications. We've got systems to raise our security posture—we’ve got those in place already, so if something comes in, we're ready to move if that happens," Klein said.

Klein said if missile defenses fail, a strike from a North Korean rocket would be devastating.  For example, if it made impact near our Denver7 studios, he pointed to a map showing the worst impacts would be concentrated in a 2-mile radius.

"This is the thermal and radiation edge," Klein said pointing to the map.

"So everyone in this area would potentially be wiped out?" asked Denver7's Hendrickson.

"Wiped out, injured, burned. I mean all the things that go along with it," Klein said.

Hawaii has already launched a public campaign urging people there to prepare for a possible nuclear attack.  Klein pointed out Hawaii is much closer than Colorado, putting them at greater risk.

“It's not really changing our posture yet. We'll keep vigilant. We're always vigilant, but right now we're not taking any extra steps," Klein said.  "We have to be prepared one way or another, but there's no indication for us that Colorado is going to be attacked."