The Taep'o dong-1 missile was test-fired in August 1998. In 1999 North Korea agreed to suspend tests of long-range missiles, and Pyongyang has extended that moratorium through 2003. In late 2000 the Clinton proposed an agreement under which North Korea would halt the production and testing of medium- and long-range missiles, as well as the export of missile technology. The US also accepted a North Korean proposal to provide two or three launches for North Korean satellites annually. By mid-2001 the new Bush Administration had returned to this general framework, though proposing new challenge inspections for number of sites in North Korea at short notice.
For many years, there has been a lack of understanding of the origins of North Korean strategic ballistic missile program. Equally absent from public the discussion about Missile Technology Control Regime is the assistance that Iran has provided to the North Koran strategic ballistic missile program and North Korea's contribution to Iran's strategic ballistic missile program. Understanding the historical context of the relationship between Iran and North Korea will enhance the understanding of this potential strategic threat to the world. Understanding the impact of the Gorbachev era Soviet missile technology transfer to North Korea because of strategic arms reductions and it meaning to the Missile Technology Control regime (MTCR) and its impact globally can not be understated. This understanding is essential because of its implications in strategic arms control. In order to understand the true strategic threat requires a reasonable technical understanding of strategic systems and their historical and technical heritage. What follows is a discussion of what can be gleamed from the public intelligence on these various strategic issues.
In October 2003 a report released by the South Korean defense ministry estimated that North Korea had shipped over 400 SCUD-class ballistic missiles to the Middle East since the 1980s. The biggest buyers were Iran, Iraq, Yemen, and Syria, but also include Egypt and Libya.
North Korea is generally estimated to have about 500 Scuds in inventory The Korea Herald 08 May 2004]. But South Korea's defense ministry estimates that North Korea has about 600 Scuds and about 100 No dong-A missiles, Agency France-Presse reported on 07 May 2004. The [DPRK] North Korea was in 2008 credited by South Korea to have 800 deployed missiles but in March 2010 they were credited with 1,000 missiles deployed. That is 100-150 Scud-B's 300 Scud-C's, 350 Scud-ER's and 200 No-dong-A's equaling 1,000 deployed and perhaps 20 No-dong-B's in a single division identified. North Korea is also credited with having enough weapons grade plutonium to have created 6-8 nuclear device weapons that they will eventually be able to place inside a already perfected missile born re-entry vehicle to make a nuclear warhead according to South Korean government analysis.
North Korean/ Iranian Unha-2, Taep'o-dong-2B Evolutionary Development Family.
North Korean/ Iranian Launch vehicle Evolutionary Development Family through 2013
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|