Ho Ching quick maths confirms North Korea & S’pore only 20 minutes apart by missile

Two plus two is four, minus one that's three, quick maths.

By Belmont Lay | 13 mins

Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam told the media on Friday, June 8, it is “absolutely” in Singapore’s interest to contribute to the peace process by hosting the Trump-Kim summit and picking up the tab for the event.

Shanmugam said: “You have a nuclear capable North Korea. You have American troops in South Korea. And, saying the obvious, the US is a nuclear state. You have a stand-off with the United States and Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, and you have a nervous South Korea and Japan.”

“It’s a period of tension and you have China which has, obviously, an interest. If there is any incident, it’ll be bad for the whole world, in particular Asia. We will be badly affected. Singaporean jobs, trade and investment all could be affected,” he added.

Singapore and Koreas not that far apart

The most surprising part of his comment was the description of the distance between the Korean Peninsula and Singapore.

According to Shanmugam, it is about seven hours by flight, but only 20 minutes by missiles.

Fact check Ho Ching

Not one to let assertions of facts slide, Ho Ching does a bit of quick maths to suss out if this comment passing off as factoid holds water.

Essentially, this was what she computed:

Singapore and North Korea distance: 4,743km

Missile travelling time:
1 second: 4km (assuming average speed before hitting top speed)
60 seconds: 240km
20 minutes: 4,800km

Moscow to New York: 7,500km
∴ Estimated 25-30 minutes

In contrast, a commercial jet cruises at 750-950 km/hr, a leisurely 200-250 m/sec subsonic pace.

∴ Ballistic missiles criss-crossing the world would be pretty fast and also dangerous things.

In other words, complete annihilation of the world can take minutes.

Ho also said she learnt something new today.

Here’s something else to learn: Missiles flying hot and fast over air space sound just like what you hear in Man’s Not Hot:

The ting goes skrrrahh, pap, pap, ka-ka-ka
Skidiki-pap-pap, and a pu-pu-pudrrrr-boom
Skya, du-du-ku-ku-dun-dun
Poom, poom, you dun know

About Belmont Lay

Belmont can pronounce "tchotchke".

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