WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. intelligence officials are pretty sure North Korea can put a nuclear warhead on an intercontinental missile that could reach the United States. But experts aren’t convinced the bomb could make it all that way intact.

They cite lingering questions about North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s nuclear know-how.

“I don’t think North Korea has a good measure of how accurate the missile is at this point,” said Michael Elleman, an expert with the International Institute for Strategic Studies. “They don’t know if the re-entry technologies will really hold up — whether the bomb will survive the trip.”

North Korea has short-range missiles that can hit its neighbors. It has tested an intermediate one that could strike Guam, a U.S. territory, as well as a longer-range missile that could reach Hawaii and perhaps the U.S. West Coast. The intermediate and long-range missiles are still being developed and it’s still questionable whether they can reliably strike targets.

The North must conduct more tests to master what is known as “re-entry” in missile parlance, experts believe. The process involves shielding a nuclear warhead from the high temperatures and force it faces when it re-enters the Earth’s atmosphere at about 15,500 mph (7 kilometers a second).

“In principle, Kim Jong Un could hit the United States with a nuclear weapon,” said Elleman, a former scientist at Lockheed Martin’s Research and Development Laboratory who also worked as missile expert for U.N. weapons inspection missions. “In practice, I think they are probably a half-year to a full year away from having something that will work more often than it would fail.”

Joseph Bermudez Jr., an internationally recognized expert on North Korean defense and intelligence affairs and ballistic missile development, agrees.

“Putting these things all together and making them work is extremely challenging, and they haven’t yet demonstrated a capability to produce a reliable re-entry vehicle, which is what houses the actual nuclear device,” he said. “Remember, they’ve only tested these systems very few times.”

Still, Bermudez, said, North Korea is “on track” to figure it out.

U.S. officials also think it’s just a matter of time before Kim’s program fully matures.

National Intelligence Director Dan Coats told Congress in May that Kim has been photographed beside a nuclear warhead design and missile airframes to show that North Korea has warheads small enough to fit on a missile.

That same month, Lt. Gen Vincent Stewart, the Defense Intelligence Agency director, told lawmakers that while Kim must still work on the technical aspects of re-entry, it’s only a “matter of enough trial and error to make that work. They understand the physics, so it’s just a matter of design.”

Coats and Stewart testified before North Korea conducted its first test of an intercontinental missile on July 4. On July 28, it conducted a second test of its long-range Hwasong-14 ICBM.

The second test flight was captured by a rooftop camera operated by Japan’s NHK television on the northern island of Hokkaido. Elleman, who analyzed the video, concluded that it most likely “disintegrated” before splashdown, suggesting North Korea is still struggling with re-entry.

“I think it probably failed fairly late in the process,” said John Schilling, a consultant with 38 North, a respected website on North Korea at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies.

Schilling said the success of North Korean missiles also depend on the weight of the payload. That’s the weight of the nuclear weapon plus its heat-shielding re-entry system. North Korea is able to make one that weighs between 1,100 and 1,300 pounds, or between 500 and 600 kilograms. One that size might reach West Coast targets, Schilling said. But North Korea would need to make one lighter to strike farther east.

“It needs to be light in order to achieve range, but it also needs to be built fairly tough to survive, and those two things are at odds with one another,” Schilling said. “Too light is a problem in that the payload would be too fragile and won’t survive the trip, particularly atmospheric re-entry at the far end.”

On Tuesday, a news report said North Korea could now wed nuclear warheads with its missiles, including its longest-range ones that might be able to hit the continental United States. The nuclear advances were detailed in an official Japanese assessment and in a story by The Washington Post that cited U.S. intelligence officials and a confidential Defense Intelligence Agency report.

President Donald Trump is warning North Korea not to make any more threats or face “fire and fury like the world has never seen.”

North Korea then announced a detailed plan to launch missiles toward the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam, a major military hub and home to U.S. bombers.

On Friday, Trump tweeted: “Military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely.”

FRISCO, Texas (AP) — Tim Howard had six saves for the Colorado Rapids and FC Dallas had a goal taken away by video review as the teams played to a 0-0 draw on Saturday night.

The match was delayed nearly 90 minutes due to lightning in the area.

It was Howard’s third shutout this season for Colorado (6-12-4), which is winless in its last 11 road matches — the third-longest such streak in franchise history — dating to last season.

Maximiliano Urruti had a goal disallowed after video review due to a foul committed by FC Dallas’ Atiba Harris during the attacking phase leading up to the goal. It was the second match in a row that Dallas had a goal called back on video review, which was introduced in MLS beginning Aug. 5.

FC Dallas (9-5-8) is winless in its last three after a three-match win streak. It had a season-high 28 shots on Saturday.

PHOENIX (AP) — Patrick Corbin pitched 6 2/3 scoreless innings, David Peralta hit an inside-the-park home run and the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the Cubs 6-2 on Saturday night, cutting Chicago’s NL Central lead over St. Louis to a percentage point.

Jon Lester (8-7) allowed four runs — three earned — and seven hits in six innings as the Cubs lost their third straight and for the seventh time in nine games.

Chicago led the division by 5½ games before play on Aug. 2, but the Cardinals have closed with eight straight victories, their longest winning streak in two years.

Corbin (9-11) allowed five hits and struck out eight. He escaped trouble in the opening inning when Ian Happ hit an inning-ending groundout with runners at the corners.

Shortstop Ketel Marte threw out Javier Baez at the plate in the fifth on Ben Zobrist’s grounder — a call upheld in a video review. Anthony Rizzo hit an inning-ending flyout with the bases loaded.

At Wrigley Field on Aug. 1, Corbin gave up eight runs in three innings. But he is 6-3 with a 3.14 ERA in 12 home starts this season.

Kris Bryant hit a two-run single off Fernando Rodney in the ninth inning before David Hernandez threw a called third strike past Ben Zobrist with two on for his second save this season.

Chicago was 2 for 9 with runners in scoring position and stranded 11 runners.

J.D. Martinez put the Diamondbacks ahead in a four-run sixth with an RBI double off the wall in right. Baez sailed a relay throw from shortstop to the plate for an error that allowed in another run, and Brandon Drury lined a two-run double off the center-field wall.

Peralta hit Arizona’s second inside-the-park homer of the season in the eighth inning off Justin Grimm, a drive that took a strange bounce off the left-center wall.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Diamondbacks: LHP Robbie Ray threw a simulated game without any problems as he makes his way back from a concussion. He was hit on the head by a line drive late last month and his next step could be a rehab start.

UP NEXT

RHP Jake Arrieta (11-8) starts Sunday’s series finale for the Cubs and is 4-2 with a 2.18 ERA in seven starts since July 2. RHP Zack Godley (5-4) starts for the Diamondbacks. He is 2-0 with a 1.37 ERA over his last three starts.

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More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

NEW YORK (AP) — A franchise known for the Babe, the Boss and the Iron Horse has a new set of nicknames.

Clown face is in left, Bow and arrow competes for time in center and Male judge is stationed in right.

These monikers are all bestowed by the New York Yankees’ Didi Gregorius. After wins, the shortstop tweets highlights and praise using emojis for teammates in his own digital hieroglyphs.

“Just spur of the moment,” he said. “Whatever comes into mind, what I think will fit in best, and that’s what I do.”

Snarky sobriquets have given a cool edge to a usually staid-looking group known for puritanical pinstripes.

Man in tuxedo starts at third — Todd Frazier, a.k.a. The Toddfather. Glowing star (Starlin Castro) mans second and Squid (Gary Sanchez) is behind the plate. There’s a compound emoticon — Flexed biceps and Pouting face for first baseman Chase Headley.

Oh, that Clown face: Brett Gardner. Jacoby Ellsbury is Bow and arrow and, if you haven’t figured it out yet, Aaron Judge is Male judge.

“I think that’s just maybe the impression that I give off sometimes just in my facial expressions,” Headley said. “Certainly not how I feel, but I think maybe when I’m playing I’m focused or whatever and I look like that.”

Stopwatch (Masahiro Tanaka) is on a rotation that also includes Baby — Luis Severino. Fire (Aroldis Chapman) finishes close wins.

“Some of them laugh about it,” Gregorius said. “I don’t think everybody knows that I’m doing it.”

His emoticons keep gaining in prominence. The Yankees’ tweeted their batting order with emoticons on June 22 and a TweetLikeDidi hashtag has gained traction. The team’s YES Network analyzes Gregorius’ tweets in the manner of Jean-Francois Champollion deciphering Egyptian artifacts in the 19th century.

Todd Frazier, acquired by the Yankees from the Chicago White Sox, feels honored by Gregorius’ pick for him.

“I’m looking sharp, man, because that’s probably the opposite of what I dress like,” he said. “It’s got like the Mafiosa kind of scene in there.”

Rookie Clint Frazier quickly earned a triple emoji: Boxing glove, Carrot and Top with upwards arrow above.

“I wanted the lion emoji, because it had the big red mane,” explained Frazier, who was forced to trim his long locks by the Yankees during spring training. “I like the boxing hands, too. He uses that as a reference for my quick hands, is what he says.”

Gardner, called the “heart and soul” of the Yankees by pitcher CC Sabathia, wasn’t sure whether his emoji meant he was a clown or a joker.

“Maybe a little bit of both. Maybe more the class clown.” he said. “I’m not sure exactly what the meaning is behind it, but I know he has a lot of fun with it. People enjoy it. It’s great.”

Tanaka is Stopwatch followed by “time” because Gregorius considers it Tanaka Time when the Japanese star takes the mound. Castro sometimes gets a “lin” after his Star. Aaron Hicks is Older man.

“Didi, he’s a trip,” Hicks said with a wide smile.

Ellsbury got his Bow and Arrow because his mother is a Navajo. Sanchez became a Squid because general manager Brian Cashman referred to him two years ago as the Kraken, a legendary sea monster. First baseman Chris Carter was Rhinoceros. Backup catcher Austin Romine is Rowboat , and Miguel Andujar was dubbed Japanese ogre after getting three hits in his major league debut. When he got his first big league hit in June, Tyler Wade was referred to as Sleuth or spy.

“I got no idea,” Wade said.

Rookie pitcher Jordan Montgomery is Turkey , he thinks maybe because he played college ball for the South Carolina Gamecocks.

“That’s the only thing I can go with,” he said.

Designated hitter Matt Holliday has perhaps the most boring emoticon combo: Flexed biceps and Neutral face . When rookie Garrett Cooper had a four-hit game this week, he earned “mini” followed by Automobile, a MINI Cooper.

“That’s what he’s called me the whole time I’ve been up here,” Cooper said. “I kind of knew he was going to go with that.”

Acquired from Arizona after the 2014 season, Gregorius arrived in New York with a title: The Dutch-born infielder was knighted a member of Order of Orange-Nassau after helping the Netherlands win the 2011 Baseball World Cup . His noble rank is even on his Twitter account, and the Yankees referred to him with a crossed swords emoji.

Gregorius initiated game recap tweets the following April , began inserting emojis the following month and started his Spreadthenews hashtag in August. Individual teammate emoticons were added starting in April 2016 , and two months later he tweeted: “An emoji is worth 1000 words!”

Gregorius, an artist who also draws and edits video, doesn’t readily reveal the thought process of his emoticon decisions, even to teammates.

“They have to guess,” he said.

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More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

NEW YORK (AP) — The Yankees’ offense was asleep for seven innings and so was the sellout crowd. New York was about to get shut out for the second straight night and drop a season-high 5½ games behind first-place Boston.

Aaron Hicks woke everyone up with his bat, then made a rocket of a throw, preserving a ninth-inning lead with a double play that electrified fans and bailed out Aroldis Chapman in yet another Yankees-Red Sox thriller.

“We need to get as many wins as we can against these guys and just show that we’re willing to fight back,” Hicks said after his two-run homer sparked a five-run eighth inning that led the Yankees to a 5-4 win Friday. New York cut its AL East deficit to 3½ games and stopped Boston’s winning streak at eight.

Hanley Ramirez’s two-run, first-inning homer and Andrew Benintendi’s fifth-inning solo drive off Jaime Garcia built a 3-0 lead for Eduardo Rodriguez, who held the Yankees to two hits in six innings. Matt Barnes followed with a hitless seventh that extended the scoreless streak by Boston’s bullpen to 19 innings.

And then the drama began.

In the first of 10 games between the AL East rivals in 24 days, the Yankees sent 11 batters to the plate in the eighth. Pinch-hitter Brett Gardner was nicked on a foot by a pitch from Addison Reed (0-1), a call originally missed by plate umpire Fieldin Culbreth and overturned on video review.Didi Gregorius and Todd Frazier followed Hicks’ home run with RBI singles and Ronald Torreyes hit a sacrifice fly for a 5-3 lead.

And there was more.

Pitching for the first time since Saturday, Chapman walked Jackie Bradley Jr. on four pitches and Eduardo Nunez on five. He missed outside with a 100.6 mph fastball, and Benintendi — whose bases-loaded walk against Chapman gave Boston a July 14 win at Fenway Park — came to the plate as Dellin Betances warmed up.

Benintendi lofted on 0-2 pitch 327 feet to Hicks, just in front of the left-field warning track, and Bradley scored on the sacrifice fly. The strong-armed Hicks, who returned Thursday from a lengthy stay on the disabled list, made a one-hop throw to third base that was about 6 feet to the fair side of the base. Frazier made a backhand catch and swiped Nunez on the back as the former Yankee slid headfirst and reached for the base with his left arm.

“If it happened again tomorrow, I would take the chance tomorrow again,” said Nunez, a former Yankee acquired by Boston from San Francisco last month. “That’s how you play the game. That was a great throw. That was a great pick from Frazier and an amazing tag.”

Mitch Moreland flied out, giving Chapman his 15th save in 18 chances.

“If he’s safe right there,” Gardner said, “the next play’s a sacrifice fly and the game’s tied, right? Who knows how it would have played out. A game-changer on both sides of the ball.”

Boston and New York met while 1-2 in the division this late in the season for the first time since 2011.

Hicks, back from an oblique injury that sidelined him since June 25, hooked an inside slider high down the right-field line. He tried to will the drive fair.

“Of course, I’m talking the ball,” he said.

And what did he tell it?

“Go!”

That made it 3-2 and stopped the Yankees’ shutout streak at 16 innings.

Gary Sanchez singled, advanced on a wild pitch and Aaron Judge walked.

Joe Kelly relieved, Gregorius blooped an opposite-field hit to left that tied the score, and Frazier dropped a single into left, a ball he thought was going to reach the outfield.

Frazier, who is from New Jersey, thought back to his youth.

“I remember that excitement, coming to the ballpark and watching these games,” he said.

CROWDS

The Yankees drew 46,509 in their eighth home sellout, matching their total in each of the last two seasons. They had 16 in 2014, Derek Jeter’s final season.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Red Sox: 2B Dustin Pedroia could be headed to the DL for the third time this season. Pedroia’s left knee was too inflamed for him to play, two days after he went 0 for 4 as a DH at Tampa Bay in his first game since July 28. … LH David Price, who hasn’t pitched since July 22 because of left elbow inflammation, threw in the outfield from 120 feet, then threw more intensely from 60 feet on flat ground, including breaking balls.

Yankees: LHP CC Sabathia (right knee inflammation) hopes to miss just one turn. He was put on the 10-day Friday, a move retroactive to Wednesday, when he had cortisone, platelet rich plasma and Synvisc injections. LHP Jordan Montgomery was recalled from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and will take Sabathia’s turn Sunday. … 2B Starlin Castro (strained right hamstring) and 1B Greg Bird (right ankle surgery) are likely to start minor league injury rehabilitation assignments next week.

UP NEXT

RHP Luis Severino (9-4) starts Saturday for the Yankees and LHP Drew Pomeranz (11-4) for the Red Sox. Severino has won four straight starts and is unbeaten in his last six outings. Pomeranz is 5-0 in his last eight starts.

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More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, who threatened Friday to use force over a border crisis with neighboring Laos, announced Saturday that the situation had been peacefully resolved after he made a lightning trip for face-to-face talks with his Laotian counterpart.

Hun Sen, an enthusiastic user of social media, announced on his Facebook page that he had successfully negotiated with Laotian Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith to have a small contingent of Laotian troops withdrawn from disputed frontier territory, with Cambodia also to remove its soldiers. His Facebook page showed video of the two leaders at a news conference.

Hun Sen flew to the Laotian capital, Vientiane, on Saturday morning, a trip announced just the day before, when he had set an Aug. 17 deadline for Laotian troops to withdraw or be confronted by Cambodia’s military.

News media close to Hun Sen’s government had shown troops in the Phnom Penh area mobilizing Friday night.

Cambodia and Laos have generally warm relations as both had fraternal communist governments after 1975. Hun Sen said Friday that the problem began in April when about 30 Laotian soldiers entered a no-man’s-land on the border to stop Cambodian military engineers from building a road on what Cambodia maintains is its territory in Stung Treng province.

Hun Sen’s critics have accused him of using past border crises with Thailand to boost his popularity.

Cambodia’s last major border disputes were with Thailand from 2008 to 2011, and were widely seen as benefiting Hun Sen politically, as he was able to portray himself as a nationalist protector of the country’s territory. His party won a strong victory in the 2008 general election, but lost seats in 2013 and is expected to face a strong challenge next year.

The state news agency of Laos, KPL, reported Thongloun’s remarks on the agreement by both sides to withdraw military forces from the disputed area between the Laotian province of Attapeu and Cambodia’s Stung Treng.

“Today, we had frank talks in a friendly manner and in order to restrain the situation in that area from being intensified and consequently developing into military confrontations, I and Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen have agreed that the Lao side will withdraw the remaining military troops that have been left there since Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen ordered the stoppage of building an access road in that area,” the Laotian prime minister was quoted as saying.

He said he had ordered his country’s soldiers to withdraw no later than Sunday morning, and that Hun Sen was likewise ordering his troops to stand down.

Thongloun said at their joint news conference that the two sides agreed that their foreign ministries and border committees would continue talks on demarcating the border where markers have not yet been installed.