Taep'o-dong 2 (TD-2)
May, June, July 2006 Build-up and Flight Test Attempt for the Taep’o-dong-2A or 2B or 2C/3 Class Space Booster, Ballistic Missile and Other July 5, 2006 North Korean Ballistic Missile Flight Tests Details
06-17-06, Updated 01-08-07 By © C. P Vick, 2006-7
The opinions and evaluations stated here in are only the authors and cannot be construed to reflect those of any Government agency, company, institute or association. It is based on public information, circumstantial evidence, informed speculation, declassified U.S. intelligence community documents, official Iranian and North Korean government documents and histories, oral histories, interviews and reverse engineering analysis. As with all data regarding the Iranian and North Korean strategic space and ballistic missile programs, this analysis is subject to revision--and represents a work in progress.
Taep'o-dong-2 class Flight Test Record
Flight, Date, S/F
1. Flight Test (1), 07-04/05-06, Failure
2. Flight Test (2) 2007? TBD?
The Ongoing Intelligence Analysis of the Seven Missile Flight TestsFinal Release
Finally on September 15-16, 2006 South Koran and Japanese officials made their last analytical statement about the ongoing all source intelligence analysis of the seven missile flight exercise and especially on the third launch the Taep'o-dong-2 first flight test which ended in catastrophic failure. The ongoing intelligence analysis has shown considerable differences in the three countries US verses Japan and South Korea individual intelligence communities' reports to date as well as the systems failure to track all the targets in real time correctly. This was apparently due to the very serious successful North Korean demonstration of deception, command, control and intelligence (D, C2I) tactics discussed here in.
The Japanese Self-Defense Forces Agency director, Nukaga Fukushino used a news conference to announce the findings approved for release via a reporters question in stead of releasing a report stated on September 15, 2006 what was later stated in greater detail on September 16, 2006 by the South Korean, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Major General, Park Soo-Keun of the analysis bureau. The Japanese minister was much more reticent than the South Koreans official due to the concern of revealing its intelligence sources and methods, operations. He did confirm that the Taep'o-dong-2 did fail and that the Japanese, South Korean and US intelligence organizations had compared notes from their shared and all source information collection systems, opinion exchanges but the process had not produced a totally in agreement findings as noted elsewhere in this report. While discussing the Taep'o-dong-2 catastrophic failure he rendered a description that stated it "virtually disintegrated in mid air in some kilometers" altitude after several seconds of flight. (58) He went on to clarify that the first stage did not separate but was apparently part of the reason for the failure which remains under on-going analysis and that it was difficult to distinguish and identify between which Scud version C, or E and No-dongs-A's or B's flown. It was also restated that the analysis was continuing into the future. (58)
On September 16, 2006 the South Korea, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Major General, Park Soo-Keun of the analysis bureau stated that the Taep'o-dong-2 launched July 5, 2006 "broke up in mid air "at an altitude of several kilometers"(57) within 2 kilometers of the pad after 40 seconds of flight" and that "it is correct to say that the missile separated". (56) It was further stated that the six successful operational ballistic missile flight consisted of two tactical Scuds, three medium range No-dong-A's and one other missile of either a Scud or a No-dong all successfully impacting in the target triangle/circle zone in the Sea of Japan some 400 kilometers from their respective land mobile TEL launch pads near Kitaeryong in Kangwon province. (56) It is interesting that they did not and could not identify which Scud versions that were flown and that they are still not satisfied with at least one missile's identification which is consistent with their previous analysis reservations publicly reported. This presumably indicates that some of the failure to get coverage of some of the ballistic flights had impacted the missile identification analysis. The Korean Times reported that the Taep'o-donng-2 upper stages had impacted "on a beach" (57) on the east coast about 2 kilometers east from the Musudan-ri, North Hamkyong province launch site. The South Korean report basically confirmed the US and Japanese analysis results with the remaining exception noted.
The ongoing intelligence analysis has shown considerable differences in the three countries US verses Japan and South Korea individual intelligence communities’ reports to date as well as the systems failure to track all the targets in real time correctly. This was apparently due to the successful North Korean deception tactics. A new revised third report that was to be completed and released on August 5, 2006 in Japan after the earlier South Korea four primary reports already partially released and perhaps a future US report later are apparently being released separately with some differences based on their individual analysis. The Japanese US report was supposed to be released on August 5, 2006 but was suspended indefinitely because of the US intelligence community demands not to release the intelligence details. (53) Japan still hopes to release the revised final report in mid to late August 2006. Several differences in individual countries intelligence reports on the same subject is not unusual and this is no exception to the case. In both particular case the US directly told and explained to the Japanese intelligence agency community its error and in so doing also informed the South Korean National Intelligence Service on how far the Taep’o-dong-2 class launch went based on the US Defense Support Program (DSP) infrared (IR) early warning (EW) satellite in addition to IR-, EW-SIGINT-based satellite detectors. Subsequent review of publicly available post flight imagery now owned by “Getty Imaging” and Japanese satellite intelligence imagery and South Korea obtained satellite imagery allowed for the identification of an inland crash debris fields. Why was the result of measurement of the early-warning satellite inaccurate? They only provide warning of the launch, its origin, the direction and cut off point of the powered flight not the impact as the rest of the information must be derived. The early warning satellites picked up the powered flight and the fiery re-entry but not the last part of the ballistic trajectory below 100,000 feet after the fiery reentry. The DSP-EW satellite technology only images approximately every 10 seconds so there had to have been other lingering assets observing the launches in real time as discussed elsewhere in this report. This also means that the DSP, EW satellite was not totally able to supply information in real time enough for the Aegis-equipped destroyers to respond to all of the targets. Further it says that the US ground based radars were the critical link in catching all the launches in addition to air born assets. However the EW satellite infrared night vision did pick up the lift off launch in great detail while the IMINT advanced KH-11 satellites did pick up the pre-liftoff. It is however perhaps doubtful that the advanced KH-11’s caught a glimpse of the vehicle on the pad. That sometimes painful analysis process has been completed as of July 29, 2006 but differences remain that only time will perhaps resolve. The reports seem to consistently follow their previous analysis with small clarification changes except for the Taep’o-dong-2 class launch failure details appropriately corrected by the US and the last two missiles differences between South Korea’s suggested (No-dong-B’s) and Japanese suggested (Scud-ER’s & now No-dong-A’s). Presumably this means that the US tacitly supports or at least Japan does not think that the No-dong-B’s were involved in the seven test flights. It has now changed its analysis from the belief they were Scud-ER’s to the new reports indicating they were No-dong-A’s. The trouble being that the No-dong-B telemetry seems to resemble the Shahab-3B/uprated derivation of No-dong-A design telemetry creating considerable uncertainty in identifying what was actually flown. This analyst considers that Japanese report disregarding the No-dong-B’s as suspect but will wait to see what time reveals because it is obvious that the selected Japanese press has been pre-briefed on the reports content. In the past Japan disagreed with the analysis of what the payload was of the Taep’o-dong-1 believing it to be a warhead instead of a satellite which was categorically wrong. As I have written above, several differences in individual countries intelligence reports on the same subject is not unusual and this is no exception to the case. This is this analyst way of saying that countries do have their own political, strategic and belief issues requirements reflected in their reports that one must take into account in doing this analysis because that is normal.
The South Korean View
Reviewing the South Korean four reports as compared with the Japanese reports is revealing. On July 5, 2006 the National Intelligence Service of South Korea reported that one Taep’o-dong-2 Class launch exploded 42 seconds after liftoff. It further reported that two No-dong-As and a possible third was launched in addition to three Scud’s with the possible addition of a fourth within the total of seven launches. The exception being that the last one was either a Scud or a No-dong-A launch. (45) The second report from the NIS followed on July 6, 2006 with a changed suggesting that the flight failed at 42 seconds due to engine hardware problems but it continued to fly off course for some seven minutes over 499 kilometers which was perhaps partially wrong. (3) The third report on July 12, 2006 the NIS director Kim Seung-gyu suggested that the Taep-o-dong-2 class launch failed at 40 seconds in flight because the launch vehicle hardware debris was found inland from the launch site correcting the July 6, 2006 statement. (22) This was followed with fourth statement on July 18, 2006 that implied the possibility that two Scud-ER’s or No-dong-B’s with emphasis on the No-dong-B’s were flown as the last two test flight vehicles because the electronic radio telemetry displayed on board propellant load and the trajectory distances that was different from the other Scud-C’s and No-dong-A missiles flown. (23) No follow up on this has been released but it does give some scope of the reviews considerations and issues involved. The strategic implications of this last statement loom quite large as is explained with in this paper.
The Japanese View
Japan only put out three reports with the first one on July 5-6, 2006 suggested that the third flight the Taep’o-dong-2 class according to the Japanese Self-Defense Forces Agency had undergone “10 minutes” of flight traveling some 640 kilometers (397.7 miles) of ground track from the launch site and the CNN reported “321.8 kilometers (200 miles) from Japan impact report” or about “500 kilometers northwest of Niigata, Japan”. (B, 3, 9, 10) Its second report through a Self-Defense Agency released chart on July 12/13, 2006 and July 18, 2006 that the medium range missiles were believed to be the No-dong-A’s or a new version of the Scud-ER’s class. This included information that the two Scud-ER’s flown as the last two test flight vehicles displayed telemetry showing the on board propellant load along with other detailed performance data and the trajectory range distances that was different from the other Scud-C’s and No-dong-A missiles flown telemetry. Further it stated there were three Scud-Cs’ launched, one Taep’o-dong-2 class launch, one No-dong-A and two new Scud-ER’s "new type" launches.
A subsequent major corrective joint Japanese US lessons learned report is being finalized as previously noted above from a pre-press release background briefing on July 29, 2006 for the expected report release on August 5, 2006 that has now been quashed. It states that Scud-ER’s were now interpreted as being No-dong-A’s and that the suggested Taep’o-dong-2 class launch of “10 minutes” of flight traveling some 640 kilometers (397.7 miles) of ground track from the launch site was in fact wrong. It was stated that the launch failed explosively “midair 40 seconds” into the flight or about “1.5 kilometers” down range from the pad before the second stage and the front end of the vehicle collapsed impacting inland from the launch site from a nearly vertically drop. The first stage continued its powered flight tumbling out of control impacting into the Sea of Japan “a few dozen kilometers from the launch site” just off shore. Japan had made a similar misinterpretation of the data like South Korea had. It is assumed that this was a common radar anomaly or North Korean deception. It was also learned that the Japanese and US Aegis-equipped destroyers did not pick up the first Scud-C launch or the Taep’o-dong-2 class launch as well as the sixth missile launch either due to weather or the missiles flying to low and other issues explained below. This real world experience will no doubt require some review of the Aegis system and refinements to address the issues revealed by this short coming. This even sparked speculation in the Japanese media that the Taep’o-dong-2 class launch was of a cruise missile which was absolutely wrong reflecting the mired of analysis concepts considered during the review process. See more of this discussion under “Flight Duration Issues”. The Aegis system did successfully pick up on the second, fourth, fifth and seventh ballistic missile flight tests. How precisely can phased array radar of the Aegis ship measure a trajectory of a flight vehicle? That is classified but it certainly is a high altitude but I suspect the last two launches went off the screen and we totally missed the 6 th launch which is known. It was further suggested that the North Koreans designers had not “finely tuned” the booster stage technologies that exhibiting some propulsion “immaturity” problems. The Joint governments further confirmed the break up of the booster at the inter-stage area before the second stage was to start as earlier written in this study but due to improper thrust control problems. They went on to say “It will likely take a long time for North Korea to launch a Taep’o-dong-2 again” and that it was characterized as a “complete failure”. The analysis is continuing and is not yet finalized both for the last two flights telemetry as well as to try and understand the root cause of the Taep’o-dong-2 class launch failure. Japan suggested the six ballistic missile flights consisted of four shorter range Scud’s with out indicating what type as well as two No-dong-As. (33, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44)
This was followed up with a further report on August 6, 2006 that the accuracy of the six ballistic missile flights was far greater than expected from previous analysis. They traveled over 300-400 (420) kilometers instead of 400-500-600 (510-620) kilometers down range. Most if not all splashed down with in the target circle with a 50 kilometer radius or 100 kilometer diameter inside an equilateral triangle with each leg 160 kilometers long. North Korea had put out notice of shipping and air restrictions between July 4, and July 11, 2006 for the triangle target zones bordered by its extended north eastern border over the Sea of Japan and the line from the 41 degree parallel and the approximate line formed between the Kitaeryong, North Korea and Vladivostok, Russia. The six other launches not including the Taep’o-dong-2C/3 launch were all parallel to the eastern coastal radars for performance observation. The expected early August report has been further delayed due to the need for further extended negotiations and analysis with the US on its content. (51) The up shot of this real time experience is that considerable issues have arisen on the coverage of these events and the mutual systems failures to properly track and identify the targets correctly in real time. T he real time experience was a real eye opener lesson learned to all concerned. There were many issues including weather, real time data collection, coordination, constant data review, North Korean deception and radar calibration that played into this failure to pick up all the launches. The first, third and sixth launches were not picked up by radar but by telemetry from over the horizon. The differences exhibit the level of uncertainty between the intelligence organizations and other driving issues. Today on August 16, 2006 Japan now believes differently from the US that the first launch was a Scud-ER and they still hope to release a report by mid to late August 2006. The lack of input from South Korea in this final analysis seems to speak volumes about its relationship with Japan and the US and how this is being carried out.
What bothers this analyst the most was what was Japan and South Korea tracking to make such error differences from the US and the real time combat tracking failure this represents. The first and second launch impact zone errors I can not explain as I can not explain the suggested path impact zone for the TD-2 from Japan initially. The failure to pick up on the first and third and sixth flights is a 1/3 failure rate due to multiple issues but that is equally troubling.
North Korean Deception Was a Foot with Those Multiple Missile Launches
Through out the build up to these seven missile flight tests this analyst has been very suspicious of the probability of deception on the part of North Korea to hide the secondary real game. Although not for certain and very difficult to prove that suspicion has been essentially partially confirmed by the questions on the flights that have arisen and the discovered errors in analysis by South Korea and Japan ’s radar operators verses the US final analysis. In part the US, South Korea and Japan failed to successfully fully track the first, third and sixth launches but also failed in what they tracked during the first three launches deriving the wrong range performances both of which are a matter of published public record. When the Japanese press was briefed on the major report changes this reality was not presented in that way but the presenters did not disguising the seriousness of the matters discussed as noted elsewhere in this report. It is clear that both Japan as well as South Korea took the bate hook line and sinker through the first three flights but ignored it afterwards for the last four flights. (54) Something must have alerted them to this deception between the flights as they were reviewed or either the North Koreans stopped the game for themselves and their clients. In saying this I am suggesting and asking to whose benefit this would serve because this was bigger with North Korea being so able to successfully execute. The only countries known to operate this intelligence investigation technique are Russia , and the PRC China besides the USA . Early on it was suggested that these missile test were an intelligence windfall for the Chinese. (55) Rather like diplomacy is the art of perception management projected convincingly the high game of disguise projected as a myth of lies. But how and with what for what becomes the question? This deception was presumably designed to draw attention from the real capabilities, limits, target, events, time, place, and at the same time to reveal the Western response capabilities. The first launch was supposed to have traveled 510 kilometers when it only went around (300-400) 420 kilometers while the second launch was supposed to have traveled 620 kilometers but only went about 420 kilometers or so and the third launch was supposed to have gone 499-640 kilometers when it actually only went 0.5-8.4 kilometers. So what created these errors? From this description it would appear that the flight tracking operators were deceived by the “bi-static intercept” reflection technique. This subject and its origins for tracking Soviet missile tracking radars are explored in the Jeff Richelson’s book, “The Wizards of Langley” under project MELODY. (54) The scenario is as follows: The North Koreans site tracking radar illuminates the target being tracked. The Western Radar asset’s including the US elements ground, air and sea based radars ( South Korea & Japan ) receive that signal as reflected off of the skin of the target missile. To interpret this data correctly, the placement of both the tracking vehicle and the target must be known, or well estimated. It requires another transmitter that reflects off the missile to the foreign radar. The North Koreans of course knew the Western allies were tracking their launches and took full advantage of it. It was an attempted masquerade operation that suggests another kind of missile performance other than that which was reality. The except being is that the North Korean deception was exposed after the third flight launch failure since they projected it electronically as if it had flown through the first stage of flight when it had not. This exposed and killed the (maskarovka) masquerade efforts. Some strange ballistic geometry can be imagined if there is any deviation in what is not known. The Soviets used to practice maskarovka against the USA , because they knew that the US was doing bi-static reflection collection against their rockets and missiles. The US assumed that the static transmitted frequency and that it was for all practical purposes recognized as a stable frequency. Not so! All they did was introduce a slight Doppler-like shift, either raising or lowering the transmitter frequency. This did cause all kinds of erroneous readings to be derived. Once the US figured that out, the US collected both the bi-static and the source for an absolute comparison. The timing was critical, but not the stability of the transmitter receiver. The North Koreans apparently inserted precisely targeted false emitter signals into the Japanese and South Korean and perhaps US, ELINT telemetry receivers and or radars to create the impression of the performance deception creating ghost targets and not the real target that the Japanese and South Korean operators tracked without realizing it. The North Korean deception ate the operators alive for certain but how deep the Chinese were involved in this remains uncertain and it certainly remains a most closely held secret. (54) The impact of this real time experience lessons learned on Missile Defense Technology is serious.
No wonder and as had long been expected it was reported on August 7, 2006 that the US intelligence community was extremely reluctant to disclose its information much less having it publicly published in a report by the Japanese forcing the Japanese Minister of the Defense Agency Nukaga Fukushino to shelve or suspend the public report indefinitely. (52) Japan still intends to release a report some time in the last half of August 2006. The aggressive Japanese and South Korean press has made it possible to obtain a pretty clear detailed understanding of the events. However I think US intelligence has over looked certain matters as well as avoided addressing certain issues from a different perspective which was apparently not thought out on the No-dong-B issues verses the No-dong-A or Scud-ER’s. The US believes that only two No-dong-As and four Scud’s in addition to the Taep’o-dong-2 class launch took place while Japan believes at least one Scud-ER was flown. South Korea seems to think that two, No-dong-B’s were flown. (53)
North Korea Tested Nuclear C2 & its Deception & Intelligence Systems
Of Great concern it has been subsequently learned that North Korea very successfully tested it war fighting and nuclear command and control capability in addition to the previously discussed deception and intelligence (D, C2I) gathering system during these seven missile launches. This was done for the benefit of both North Korea and Iran . Iran subsequently also demonstrated the (C2, I) nuclear command and control capability in its “Great Prophet-II” military exercise to the surprise of the intelligence, and defense communities of the world. This kind of all out synchronized attack launchings unprecedented demonstration by Iran is of major concern in the world’s defense communities. (59, 60) Closer analysis examination may reveal that it was a full (D, C3I) demonstration capability that they wanted us to see. Where North Korea and Iran got this capability could only have come from primarily China or perhaps Russia with perhaps some unknowing western technology hardware contributions. The parallels to the US Gulf war operations are quite apparent and eye opening. It certainly indicates how Iran or for that case North Korea intends if provoked to really hurt some adversary with a capability the defense again which simply does not now exist in the world’s defense establishments to the level and quantity, quality required. Both North Korea and Iran wanted us to see what they wanted us to understand but what they did not show is of greatest concern IE the advanced nuclear capable Shahab-3B/No-dong-A1, Shahab-4/No-dong-B ballistic missile systems. The re-insurgence of the Middle East , South Asia primary market place for Russia , China and North Korea brings with it the probability that they would defend militarily against any US actions again those nations preventing and check mating the US strategic military and policy goals. To a degree this has already been demonstrated in recent attempted US UN pushed sanctions efforts that have been stymied repeatedly.
Pending Container Ship Threat?
It has also been revealed that intelligence sources think North Korea may have helped Iran to successfully demonstrate a proof principle test flight of a Scud-B from an Iran container cargo ship container. This is possibly relating to the eventual deployment of a ship container based Scud-B or more probable ship container based No-dong-B IRBM. Exactly where and when this Scud-B flight test was demonstrated remains unclear. (31) and http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/world/dprk/nd-b.htm
Trends Suggested At Variance Intelligence Assessment
Preliminary indications are assuming that if the last two flight test were the No-dong-B from North Korea suggested by South Korea and the previous No-dong-B flight test out of Iran may have proven the common Iranian, North Korean ICBM “re-entry vehicle” and “warhead fusing mechanisms” viability with three apparently successful flight tests in a row. The ongoing analytical efforts of the joint countries intelligence communities meetings have now produced an apparent deadlock on this issue delaying this final joint report because of revisions excepted and differences. This is due to difference pending further analysis between the Japanese, South Korean and US review of the missile types and flight trajectories flown as of the week of July 24, 2006 . Newly re-reviewed evidence appears to suggest that the last two missiles flight tested July 5, 2006 thought to initially be Scud-ER variants now appear to be potentially the second and third flight test of the Shahab-4/No-dong-B/Mirim 3,000-4,000 kilometers range IRBM. (23)
However Japan has now revised its thinking on this as of July 29-30, 2006 saying that the last two flights were No-dong-A’s not Scud-ER’s. Today on August 16, 2006 Japan now believes differently from the US that the first launch was a Scud-ER new type. All the data released so far indicates real problems on the part of all three communities even when combining all the all source data available in analyzing the flights flown and identifying the vehicles flown. Whether the all source information was shared with South Korea is today highly questionable as explained below.
Previously the re-review of the finalized released data strongly suggest that North Korea will return with its third satellite launch attempt in the not to distant future once the issues of this flight test failure are addressed and corrected. Study of the existing and new open source information has revealed the results of the ongoing Intelligence re-review on this Taep’o-dong-2 class booster’s flight test that clarifies its details. Regardless of what the design configuration of the three stages, Taep’o-dong-2A, or 2B or 2C/3 ultimately turns out to be it is still not defined from the open source reports. The exception being the identification of the Iranian static test facilities for the No-dong-B also believed to be the second stage of the Taep’o-dong-2B and 2C/3 designs and the Taep’o-dong-2 class first stage propulsion newer larger static test stand at the Shahid Hemat Industrial Group research testing facility, just south of Tehran . See images of the static test facility. http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/world/iran/images/dg_23may02_tehran-hemat_18a.jpg According to US and Japanese government officials the three stage first Taep’o-dong-2A, or 2B or 2C/3 apparently lost some piece of flight hardware that “fell off immediately after take-off” very early in the launch. (1) Precisely when this flight hardware was sighted falling from the vehicle based on the available open source information must be assumed to be at the start of the primary initial failure period that runs between 30-52 second that is 30-35 second after launch, based on the various timing reports between 30-35-40-42 second. (C, 7, 11, 15, 16) Presumably it was its two-piece encapsulating payload shroud-fairing, which broke loose. No other explanation seems plausible except perhaps upper altitude winds for which there is no convincing evidence and propulsion problems that could have precipitated the hardware separation failure. It probably, impacted the satellite payload and third stage heavily damaging them. This shroud is used to protect the payload from aerodynamic forces during launch through the atmosphere and its fairing is presumed to be a derivation of the “IRIS” Iranian design.
The failure apparently took place during the flights Max-Q (maximum dynamic pressure) phase while on its ascending pitch over program between 35 and 42 seconds causing it to systematically veer off course. This was during the pitch over program which is a part of the continuous guidance operation flight to orbit. It is aiming for a key hole in the sky. It begins shortly after the completion of the lift off and the follow up roll program to launch azimuth, inclination. The whole idea is to gain altitude, velocity and range as it climbs out of the gravity well leading to that keyhole in space down range so it’s a slow gradual turn through out the powered flight It then presumably broke apart shortly afterwards at 50-52 seconds based on initial CNN reports (A) which could be as early as 40-42 seconds perhaps explosively of flight because of how this event data evolved publicly and other distorting factors of the repeated trackers debrief review process. In any case this is when it is assumed by this analyst that the second stage and what was left of the third stage and payload sheared off in its various parts as will be explained.
The first stage could only have continued it powered tumbling out of control ballistic flight as described if it lost the second and third stages, along with the payload remnants at the first and second stage inter-stage area because it had no guidance to direct its flight profile. If it retained the second stage with its guidance package its flight profile would have been very different than described. The second stage did separate explosively according to the unidentified Japanese Self-Defense Forces spokes person of July 29-30, 2006. The base area of the inter-stage between the top of the first stage and the base engine bay area of the second stage is believed to be an open truss structure design possibly surrounded by a shroud. That is until the second stage fire in the hole start up separation forces the shroud elements to separate. It is the one area on top of the first stage that receiving the most severe buffeting during atmospheric flight that could have proven to be the weak area that failed as the launch vehicle keeled over because of the initial failure.
Based on open source reports available the period between or around 40-42-52 second are when the vehicle “was lost” or “disappear from view”. This is when the telemetry was apparently lost as the launch vehicle was keeling over through and what is assumed to have been its break up. In the 42-52 second time frame the launch observation based electronic reception ship and land based tracking of the vehicle was “lost” and or “disappeared from view” on the monitors based on the open source reports that would indicate a loss of the over the horizon telemetry for the first stage or the whole vehicle. It is assumed that some telemetry may have come directly from the first stage but definitely from the forward second stage guidance instrument section. However the US, South Korean and Japanese data indicated two different events were continuing beyond the 42-52 seconds for up wards of two minutes and perhaps seven or ten minutes of separate ballistic events. After a joint review by the US, Japanese and South Korea the National Intelligence Service dropped the seven to ten minutes of flight suggestion with out explanation but stuck with the American “upwards of two minutes of flight” description. (3, 22)
Again the US, DoD officials indicated that the missile was only stable through the boost phase of 40-42 seconds and that it subsequent tumbling out of control to impact into the Sea of Japan and was only ballistic-ally “air born for up wards of two minutes”. (7, 8, 15) The first stage continued its burn as it went tumbled out of control falling into the Sea of Japan “before its first stage burned out”. (8) This could be interpreted to mean that the full first stage burn would have exceeded two minutes but the circumstances of this burn leave uncertainties on this issue. The flight path would have taken it east over northern Japan if the flight had continued. (7) An inland debris field due east at about 40 degrees, 51 minutes inclination down range from the launch site has been identified in the post launch July 5, 2006 imagery with recovery operations indicated both at the impact area and outside the MIK horizontal assemble building. (22) The Japanese reports of July 29-30, 2006 suggests that the pending reports states that the vehicle explosive separation failure occurred at 40 seconds at about 1.5 kilometers down range from the launch pad with the launch vehicles second stage explosively separating at the inter-stage area collapsing almost vertically downward into the now identified inland impact zone as previously suggested by this analyst.
What caused the shroud or fairing or what ever to give way is a very intriguing aspect of the failure that remains unexplained. Several possibilities come to mind again speculating on the open source information available. Among those is structural failure of the shroud itself or the explosive bolts of the shroud or its glue, seals, vent doors or lack of enough acoustic insulation to prevent over heating, under maximum dynamic loading. Perhaps upper altitude winds for which there is no convincing evidence and the indicated propulsion problems could have precipitated the hardware separation failure. Additionally vehicle guidance programming software errors and range electronic interference cross chatter or any combination of all of these could have contributed to the start of the failure sequence. The structural over load theory or electronic programming errors or propulsion problems seem more plausible than the range radio electronic interference possibility.
It is revealing to realize that the six ballistic missile test exercise were very systematically launched separately in a way that crossed the Taep’o-dong-2 class booster planned flight path and their ground command, control and communications radars which may have interfered with the launch of the Taep’o-dong missile if radio silence was not correctly maintained for each flight over the entire range. This seems less likely but is inconceivable. Why did North Korea launch Scuds and No-dongs in the time frame as the launching of Taepodong-2? No they were timed differently separately because the launch radio interference would have caused problems. They had to maintain radio silence for the Taep’o-dong launch as they did for each launch except for those transponders and receivers intended to be used each time. This was one of several major accomplishments that were quite impressive for a third world country carrying out all these launches in a coordinated fashion over several hours.
All the subsequent observed apparent failures are the predictable failures precipitated by the initial spotted flight hardware separation. Among these would be steering control authority, guidance failures as the vehicle went off course beyond which the guidance and steering hardware control algorithms could not control the vehicle flight direction. That is either gas jet steering vanes loss or failure or gimbaled vernier nozzles engine failure depending on which configuration was flown. This would have been followed by propulsion and aerodynamic over loads as the whole launch vehicle keeled over. That in turn would have precipitated its fold up structural break up explosively at 40 seconds in the inter-stage and nose areas and subsequent separation of the components on their ballistic tumbling flight to the inland impact zone or Sea of Japan . The first stage did continue intact on its own out of control ballistic powered flight into the Sea of Japan .
I actually feel that the first stage vernier’s of the Taep'o-dong-2 shook the flight vehicle from side to side because they were not coordinated with one another precipitating the shroud separation under dynamic pressure exceeding its design limits. This also caused the second stage premature separation structural failure. The design indicated for Taep’o-dong-2 is much more sophisticated than the original design first seen in 1994 in US imagery. Quite literally the North Koreans redesigned the booster from about 2000 through to its flight test in 2006 outside of the normal five year plan cycle. This was in spite of the initial design appearing on the launch pad for months in the early 2000-2003 period for ground testing that did not go well as expected.
Flight Duration Issues of Taep’o-dong-2 Class Launch
Reports initially from the South Korean National Intelligence Service (NIS) suggested that the “seven minutes of flight” and Japanese SDF suggested “10 minutes” of flight are not a completely accurate presentation of what was perhaps going on as is also presumably the suggested “499 kilometers” (310.08 miles) to the Japanese suggested 640 kilometers (397.7 miles) of ground track from the launch site and the CNN reported “321.8 kilometers (200 miles) from Japan impact report” or about “500 kilometers northwest of Niigata, Japan” performance.(B, 3, 9, 10, 33) However if the first stage continued to thrust ballistic-ally upwards after separation of the upper portions of the vehicle for “upwards of two minutes” or more before cut off from propellant depletion the momentum of its ballistic trajectory may have arched upward and then down until impact in the Sea of Japan over a total of seven minutes of flight. This would be far from a normal presumed indicated flight but a near arching ballistic flight profile with several to many kilometers of ground track. Again the DoD intelligence briefing personnel indicated that this seven minute suggestion of the South Korean, National Intelligence Service and the Japanese SDF suggestions were not correct and appears to be mixing the other missile flight data observations. This NIS description also seems to be incompatible with the previously described DOD official’s flight description. Subsequently the NIS dropped this interpretation upon re-review of the tracking data with the U.S. as has also Japan as of July 29, 2006. (22)
One could ask the crazy question if the Taep’o-dong-2 class launch vehicles bus solid motor third stage ignited between 35-42 seconds and flew off wildly spinning along its centerline on a long ballistic flight that might explain this suggested 7-10 minute 499-640 kilometer flight suggestion. Could this be what the Japanese and South Korean radars picked up? This report contains the Japanese and South Korean report information on what was supposed to have been the Taep'o-dong-2 class launch range but it was wrong according to the US upwards of two minutes discussion so what was being tracked.
I end up with a hypothetical scenario that some how after shroud separation and the explosive separation of the second stage that perhaps the solid motor third stage was also triggered and ignited firing off as a spun up stage burning about a minute but flying ballistic ally the range suggested over several minutes suggested. Otherwise the tracking was chasing radar reflective false imaging previously discussed. It would suggest that a streak flashes on the EW satellite imagery during the failure explosion period of 10 seconds that went so fast as to be missed with out continuous notion analysis which was not possible with DSP except from other air born methodology and yet it may have still been missed if this is a practical guest-mate.
However this makes no sense to this analyst verses other explanations explained previously. The shroud loss and explosive separation of the second stage at the inter stage all makes sense along with the continued first stage burn to sea impact just off shore but the third stage igniting at some point is just a crazy question that may explain the tracking issue of South Korea and Japan but it may not also. To suggest a flight time of seven to ten minutes minus 42 seconds as well as the range of 499-640 kilometers is wild requiring a burn time well over what one would expect of perhaps 25 seconds verses several minutes. That makes no sense at all. So what were they chasing with their own radars false targets?
The Taep’o-dong-2 class flight lasted only upwards of two minutes and traveled on a trajectory that is estimated ballistic-ally achieving an altitude of around 10.4 kilometers and a range ground track of perhaps 8.4 kilometers based on comparative system Titan-II ICBM performance data. The hardware separation at 30-35 seconds in flight only achieved an altitude of some where in the range of 2.3-3.2 kilometers with an inland ground track range of 0.5-0.8 kilometers. While the final failure at 40-42 seconds rose only to about 4.3 kilometers with a ground track range of 1.2- 1.5 kilometers collapsing near vertically 2 kilometers down range inland creating a burnt crater about 50 meters wide and 150 meters long while the first stage impacted just off shore. Based on Titan-2 performance data the vehicle performance at 50-52 second period perhaps would have gained at 50 sec, 7.0 km altitude and a range of 2.4 km while at 52 sec it would have achieved 7.6 km altitude and a range of 2.7 km. This is definitely not the suggested 499 km to 640 kilometers ground track range or seven to ten minutes of flight but may be spurious radar reflective data that has been declared perhaps wrong upon analytical re-review.
The Taep’o-dong-2 class launch vehicle was launched from the Musudan-ri [Moosan-rhee] launch pad 40 degrees, 51 min., 17 sec. North 129 degrees, 39 min., 58 sec. East on a due east minimum energy trajectory close to or approximately 40 degrees, 51 minutes out of the launch site heading in the general direction of the Pacific Ocean waters far west and south of the Hawaiian island chair. (1) Suggestion that the launch was being aimed at the waters off Hawaii are almost certainly wrong based on the implied satellite launch ground track at an inclination of 40 degrees, 51 minutes and the immediate down range debris field alignment to inclination. (7, 21) This was entirely typical of the presumed satellite launch attempt trajectory. That is it was following the same basic inclination of 40 degrees, 51 minutes used by the Taep’o-dong-1 launch. Until this July 5, 2006 flight, the United States intelligence community was still guessing about the final ultimate configuration flown of perhaps three configurations considered for this three stage launch vehicle. Suggestions of engines or guidance control failures were reemphasized by DOD intelligence officials. Launch vehicle aspect ratio (length to diameter) problems are implied from these kinds of control issues noted below. Most liquid propellant ICBM’s have to date utilized an approximate three meter diameter shorter length first stage while this North Korean design is apparently utilizing a 2.2 meter diameter very tall over all design. The diameter design detail is based on the Chinese design pad with a measurable 2.0 meter inside diameter dimension. Equally this could have been a ballistic missile flight test carrying a common “baby bottle neck nose cone design” of 650 kilogram dummy warhead the same as seen on the Shahab-3B and No-dong-B design on a trajectory traveling between 6,000 – 12,000 kilometers. Such a design configuration however does not fit the falling presumed hardware observed during the early part of the flight.
Alternate Satellite or ICBM Re-Entry Vehicle Warhead Flight Test Considerations
US, DOD military intelligence officials noted that indeed the missile was “heading east” but that the tracking was quite difficult because of the abruptly shortened flight. It was further noted that the flight trajectory was more ballistic than and not as lofting as would have been expected to be seen for a satellite launch. So the possibility of a three stage ballistic missile flight with a dummy warhead seems plausible. In this case it may have been the dummy warhead hardware that was lost early in the flight but that seems illogical. Subsequently the DOD was said to be leaning towards a satellite launch attempt. (7, 21) The conclusions of each country is different with Japan saying it was a ballistic flight but I think the jury is out for South Korea but as last reported the US was somewhat leaning towards a satellite launch high probability.
Trend Suggested At Variance Analysis
Several US government officials along with the Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld have stated that the North Koreans have not successfully tested an ICBM to full range with a warhead. This is true but the North Koreans do not have a traditional fully instrumented ICBM range as does Russia and the US. in order to evaluate the “re-entry vehicle” performance and it’s “warhead fusing mechanisms”. But the DPRK does have shorter ranges that have already been used. If it is assumed that the last two missile flight tests of North Korea seven flights were the No-dong-B of three suspected flights. Then they have now run the reentry test three times utilizing the No-dong-B with the last two flown off the DPRK coast on steep ballistic trajectories rising perhaps as much as between 1,000-2,000 kilometers high and powered return over a 420 kilometers range ground track. The Iranian, North Korean first No-dong-B suspected flight test on January 17, 2006 went some 3,000 kilometers down range into the Indian Ocean and could have gone 4,000 kilometers. “The USAF used a similar approach for Re-entry Vehicle (RV) and fusing mechanisms development flight from Green River, Utah to White Sands Missile Range, NM and from Wallops FF, VA out in the Atlantic. Like the Air Force launches they could achieve ICBM-like re-entry conditions by pointing the vehicle back down while still under thrust.” (30) There should be little wonder why the North Koreans and Iranians are reportedly satisfied with the flight test results in spite of the launch failure of the Taep’o-dong-2 class booster satellite launch.
Presumably the ICBM re-entry vehicle and fusing mechanisms flight testing was the precise purpose of those last three or two flight test of the No-dong-B by North Korea with the Common Iranian, North Korean warhead design configuration indicating how far they have perhaps advanced.
Common North Korean, Iranian Re-entry Vehicle Design Heritage Trends
The North Korean’s certainly got the plan form for the SS-N-6/SS-NX-13 missile from MIASS and greatly improved it but also got the plan form for the re-entry vehicle but not necessarily the warhead device type. There are definite differences in the present RV from older design SS-N-6/SS-NX-13 reflecting the more advanced RV designs of the Soviets/Russians that the sanctioned Graphite…(sp) company of Moscow were involved in. Developing the conventional none nuclear proximity fused firecracker warhead with the provided RV is easy verse the nuclear gun type much less the plutonium implosion type nuclear warhead which is a whole different ball of wax to sculpt. MIASS was not privy to the nuclear device design except for the interface, mass & cabling design requirements of the RV. That was ultimately handled by a separate Soviet/Russian nuclear industry organization with only the RV/missile interface requirements being provided by MIASS. The policy at the time was not to provide nuclear weapons design but the North Koreans got at least nine nuclear scientists which could have seriously impacted that area of the technology transfer besides the in excess of seventeen rocket scientists.
However based on open sources analysis which is fully documented it is apparent that the telemetry seen received or captured from the Shahab-3B launches and the Shahab-4/No-dong-B launches appear to be of the same format indicating they are using the same equipment guidance, accelerometers, command control data processors and that it is extremely difficult to separate which missile is which. The only way to separate them is through the radar tracking performance, if they really perform to full capability, but that is not two data points that is only one in both cases which leaves a large area of uncertainty. Further that is subject to deception IE make Shahab-4 perform like the Shahab-3B or No-dong-A fore shorting its true performance capability. The Shahab-4/No-dong-B flight test out of Iran of January 17, 2006 is the only flight test yet to be identified as having taken place based on the 3,000 kilometer performance which far exceeded the Shahab-3B capability. Some of those flights in July 2006 out of North Korea may literally have gone off the scope so you are left with the realization that they could have done a propulsion driven ICBM like re-entry test like the US conducted with in the No-dong-A performance parameters. The exception being that if we know the potential nominal performance of the suggested missile how would one do a reentry test using that propulsion IE the time between the radar loss of the target to its reacquisition of the vehicle could indicate the ballistic profile for a No-dong-A test but may have been a No-dong-B propulsion driven re-entry test that we totally missed. This could also apply to a Scud–C or Scud-ER test disguise for this case but less likely. Whether the intelligence people of the US-(USN & NSA and USAF, Army) much less the South Koreans or the Japanese intelligence organizations have the information to check this if they even recognize this potential deception is uncertain to say the least and this is why I remain unsatisfied and very suspicious with the present end product analysis of all sides involved.
Although No-dong-A of Iran and Pakistan carried the conical Chinese heritage nuclear warhead re-entry vehicle (RV) design received from China by technology transfer to Pakistan it was not the RV design of choice for accuracy. This is why we see the second generation Shahab-3B RV is so significant besides the long range nuclear suggestion. The late 2003 earlier 2004 observation of the No-dong-B, Re-entry Vehicle (RV) with its “top of a baby bottle-neck ” nose cone design description which allowed the U. S intelligence community to recognize the SS-N-6/SS-NX-13 origin of the new IRBM Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile system. This along with the subsequent appearance of the Iranian Shahab-3B with its “baby bottle-neck ” nose cone design reflected a commonality not immediately anticipated. The facts that both countries had their RV ’s designs described separately in the same way profoundly suggest that their tested, operational nuclear weapon system is one and the same. When applying the known Shahab-3B, RV design to the No-dong-B it was found that it fitted with the known propulsion performance design constraints of the rocket stage. Circumstantially this result can not be ignored much less dismissed.
The current indicated mass of 650 kilograms is based on the Soviet era heritage SS-N-6/SS-NX-13 capability for both the No-dong-B and Shahab-3B which appear to have the same nuclear warhead prototype RV design. Believing the RV is a nuclear warhead prototype and proving it are two very different worlds. The design of the No-dong-B and Shahab-3B, RV certainly indicates the expected standardized nuclear warhead design. It also indicates that they have mastered the technology for reducing the size of the nuclear device with in the RV ’s airframe but does not prove that it is a nuclear warhead. Proving the RV’s potential nuclear lethality is no easy task requiring radiation sensing as well as atmospheric sampling of the emitted gaseous vapors. The question is why develop such a RV but for a nuclear warhead as all previous nations have done that possess nuclear weapons technology for weapons production? The Missile and RV programs have outpaced the warhead fuel program but not the warhead nuclear device design program which is in hand and has been for some time now. Countries do not produce missiles to travel over thousands of kilometers to deliver mere “Fire Cracker” conventional high energy explosive warhead weapons unless they are intended to carry primarily nuclear, or chemical, biological weapons. The advances in the missile launch vehicle and re-entry vehicle program do mirror the advances in the parallel nuclear weapons program of the larger total weapons program. Generally speaking no country makes the investment up to the threshold of actually having nuclear weapons with out completing the process.
Further the ONI section and elsewhere in this report below notes that the North Koreans had tracking patrol ships down range both on the Sea of Japan and off the east coast of Japan on the Pacific Ocean and at strategic points down range on the Pacific Ocean. So the possibility of monitoring and recovering a RV was available if that was the mission. If anything the separate re-entry vehicle testing issue proves that this launch of the Taep’o-dong-2 class launch vehicle was only an ICBM flight test masquerading as a real satellite launch attempt gone bad. It is true that this is not totally confirmed but North Korea did definitely have tracking patrol ships on the Sea of Japan because that is openly confirmed as well as their being observed leaving after the seven flights. Yes this Taep’o-dong-2 class launch vehicle flight test would have tested the booster without the RV but I submit that the No-dong-B flights were as severe on the RV as a test ICBM flight would have been proving their lethal viability assuming that is what was flown. Based on the open source data available this analyst can not discount this possibility in spite of the reported new joint U. S. Japanese pending report to the contrary.
However the open question is what was the hardware that dropped off the vehicle as it began its catastrophic disassembly failure? The launch vehicle was not deliberately destroyed as done in the West because like the Soviets and apparently the Chinese it carried no in flight destruct system based on the extensive flight failure description details. Prior to the end of the Cold War in Russia and China from my confirmed understanding they both did not carry in flight termination destruct systems like in the West but once commercialization and environmental issues set in during the post Russian revolution of 1991 this was changed to a degree but the process of doing it is time consuming requiring several people to complete the command range process. Several examples on this are confirmed from the Soviet era reality from the Soviets when I did the Proton launch vehicle research and others Soviet launch vehicle studies. The Soviet change of direction on this subject started on July 3, 1969 with the Soviet lunar orbit N1-L3S launch failure end results in order to save subsequent facilities infrastructure from damage by failing launch vehicles and other events along the way that forced this rethinking. The rate of Soviet uncontrolled space launch failures between 1967 through 1970 was a real wake up call for their programs lack of an in flight destruction capability. “Today the Russians and Red Chinese do indeed have Flight Termination Systems for their launch vehicles. The Russians typically terminate flight by means of a commanded shutdown of the engines, either by radio signal, or more commonly, by an automated onboard system. The Russians use an explosive destruct system for ICBMs. The Chinese use a radio-commanded flight termination system for space boosters. However, both are far more "casual" on the actual activation of such systems than we have been in the U.S. , and have achieved results commensurate with that attitude.” (30)
U.S. Defense Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld stated on July 5, 2006 that “The fact that it (the Taep’o-dong-2 class missile) failed is a fact….” and he further stated that he does not think North Korea would launch such an expensive missile and then intentionally destroy it after such a short flight to gain a mere 38-40 seconds worth of information.(5) Initially it can be said to look as if the flight resembled a ballistic missile warhead flight test but the whole flight was not displayed except in preflight telemetry. That is if the full preflight telemetry flight plan was totally successfully captured. Unfortunately the summarization of it remains unavailable to the public so the mission objective perhaps remains an open issue with some questions unanswered as noted above.
Suggestions that the North Korea flight tested only a live first stage with dummy mass upper stages is not the previously demonstrated practices of the North Koreans as well as the Russian and Chinese who normally go with essentially all up flight test. Further this is in part rejected by the statement of the Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld noted above and the subsequent described “explosive breaking off of the second stage of the Taep’o-dong launch vehicle at the inter-stage area while the first stage continued its burn from the Japanese Government Self Defense Agency, Press briefer of July 29, 2006 . This explosion simply would not have been possible if the second and third stage were not fueled.
Flight Failure Mode Similarities
This kind of similar flight profile reminds this analyst of the US Delta booster shroud loss flights of the past that amounted to quite spectacular catastrophic disassembly fireworks show so no doubt this launch was one wild ride to oblivion. This Delta launch was utilizing a new lighter weight composite material shroud in place of the Aluminum shroud normally used that failed as I remember historically. At the time that it occurred this was the reason given for the failure which may or may not have been the reason for its failure that may have been well before 1975. “The rather spectacular Delta 3914 break-up of 3 May 1986 was the result of an early propulsion system shut down due to mechanical vibration damage to wiring and subsequent fairing break-up rather than a failure of the fairing itself.”(30) Through out the Cold War the US consistently found it hard to define the reasons for Soviet launch failures from telemetry alone but with this North Korean launch failure live imagery was obtained revealing further details of the failure sequence greatly improving the accuracy of the analysis as is reflected in this study.
The description of the North Korean failure would imply that the first stage essentially remained intact and functional. This would suggest that the total Taep’o-dong-2 class launch vehicles in what ever manifestation it turns out to be is probably propulsion and structurally sound in spite of the early payload hardware loss. If that is all that went wrong with the launch vehicle then a second flight sooner than later in the next several months to a year after a proper review of the systems performance and corrective action is not an unreasonable possibility. Japan however on July 30, 2006 suggested “that it will likely take a long time for North Korea to launch a Taep’o-dong-2 again”. Certainly the North Korean design Engineers and Scientists will learn a lot from this failed flight test that will bring them back to the pad sooner than later as long as the materials, personnel and man hours support remains a political military priority for this North Korean, deeply isolate paranoid hermit Stalinist kingdom authoritarian leadership.
Unanswered configuration Design Issues for Intelligence Analysis
The Taep’o-dong-1 was a limited production pathfinder launch vehicle for the original design mock-up of the Taep’o-dong-2 as seen in imagery in 1994. Since then the design has evolved with Iranian technological assistance additions and financing but then North Korea in the last seven years introduced new technology which has perhaps further changed the design. Proof of this lies in the dramatic change in the launch facility which was totally rebuilt to accommodate the Teap’o-dong-2 in less than two years after the Taep’o-dong-1 launch. This totally eliminated the existing launch facilities for the Taep’o-dong-1. See illustration of the dramatic change to the Gantry Umbilical tower design. http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/world/dprk/nodong.htm
This illustration shows approximately what should have been seen depending on which configuration was utilized for the Taep'o-dong-2A, or 2B or 2C/3 class launch vehicle flight test with a presumed test scientific satellite presumably of both Iran and North Korean design. Which Taep'o-dong Configuration was seen remains unclear.
To assume the design remained the same from that seen in 1994 imagery to this July 5, 2006 launch is an absolutely analytically wrong assumption from this analyst perception. The question is whether the North Koreans introduced the No-dong-B/Shahab-4/Mirim, SS-N-6, SS-NX-13 derivations technology into the Taep’o-dong-2 class design over the last seven years. This No-dong-B/Shahab-4 was deployed in North Korea in 2003-2004 and successfully flight test January 17, 2006 in Iran for both North Korea and Iran . This is what originally broke the “testing moratorium”. The question then becomes what combination of the No-dong-B technology for the final Taep’o-dong-2 class design did the designers decided upon to finalize its configuration. This No-dong-B flight absolutely proved President Bush’s “Axis of Evil” characterization of North Korea and Iran joint collaboration. It would appear that the 6 th and 7 th flight test on July 5, 2006 of the so called Scud-ER was potentially in fact the second and third flight test of the Shahab-4/Mirim/No-dong-B. (23) Though this is apparently not full accepted with in the US intelligence community because of uncertainties time will probably change that. The No-dong-B’s were first sighted outside Pyongyang , North Korea on the Mirim, Air force base by US intelligence imaging system during September 2003. At the time it was predicted that some of the ten missiles imaged were expected to be put on display in an official founding national holiday military parade in Pyongyang but this did not occur. Subsequently the missiles were found to be deployed in imagery early in 2004. The 3,000-4,000 kilometer range No-dong-B’s were deployed in the Sangnam-ri and Heocheon counties in the north Hamgyeong province. No further information on the missile systems appeared until it was flight test on January 17, 2006 out of Iran . http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/library/report/2006/cpvick-no-dong-_2006.htm, (23)
Until this July 5, 2006 flight of this Taep’o-dong-2 class launch vehicle the United States intelligence community was still guessing about the final ultimate configuration flown of perhaps three configurations considered for this three stage launch vehicle. The original design of the Taep’o-dong-2 consisted of just two stages but evolved to three stages. The original design Taep’o-dong-2A first two stages were based on No-dong-A/Shahab-3, 3A technology propellants with a solid propellant third stage. That Taep’o-dong-2A design utilized the No-dong-A derived “Iris” design second and third stage of Iran . The evolving subsequent design Taep’o-dong-2B could utilize the standard Taep’o-dong-2A first stage with a No-dong-B second stage and a revised Iris bus third stage. Alternatively the third design concept the Taep’o-dong-2C/3 first stage could have been redesigned to accommodate the same No-dong-B technology in the first two stages of the booster. That is the Taep’o-dong-2C/3 would constitute a totally redesigned launch vehicle from the original design seen in 1994 imagery to the Taep’o-dong-2C/Taep’o-dong-3 design with new propellants and much higher performance. The TD-2C/3 first two stages utilize the No-dong-B technology with the revised Iris bus third stage. In the final analysis the design flown has to be the Taep’o-dong-2B or the Taep’o-dong-2C/3 design from this analyst perspective.
This issue will probably not be settled until some weeks from now when all of the “all sources Intelligence information” is combined to define its final flown configuration. Presumably this will be carried out by the National Air & Space Intelligence Center (NASIC) Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton , Ohio with other organizations participation for the USAF. Equally the US army’s, Missile and Space Intelligence Center (MSIC) on Red Stone Arsenal, Huntsville, Alabama will also be doing the same thing as the NASIC for DIA and at some point they may jointly combine their effort in a single series of detailed reports. Those joint countries all source intelligence sharing meetings appear to have initially been completed by July 18, 2006 with additional research issues being defined for further study. IE the Scud-ER and or No-dong-B issues besides the Taep’o-dong-2 class launch vehicle configuration performance issues. (23) Special attention is being paid to the radar data obtained on each ballistic missile flight as well as their individual flights telemetry format configurations. The results of that have caused considerable focus on all of the flights but especially the last two flights data. How those flights were flown verses what has been observed out of Iran could be revealing both in its parallels and differences.
That focused analytical efforts of the joint countries intelligence communities meetings has now produced an apparent deadlock delaying this final joint report. This is due to difference pending further analysis between the Japanese, South Korean and US review of the missile types and flight trajectories flown as of early in the week of July 24, 2006. (29) South Korea and Japan have dropped some of its early analysis in favor of the US position but Japan and South Korea have come to the table arguing that other ballistic missiles must be considered for some of the seven missiles flown based on the all source analysis of the data acquired by each individual country. Japan has suggested that one of the early launches may have been a Scud-ER. It is also apparent that the last two launches which were apparently No-dong-B’s (IRBM) intermediate range ballistic missile’s telemetry is taking much longer to decipher its detailed performance data than previously anticipated. (29) This may also indicate that the No-dong-B guidance technology is much more advanced that expected. This in turn has given the community an eye opening view into the Shahab-3B and its Chinese based sophisticated guidance flight avionics advances that have presumably been applied to the No-dong-B and the Taep’o-dong-2 class launch vehicle. Those two No-dong-B flights or the Scud-ER’s and what they did were some of the unexpected surprises of the seven flights observed.
The analyst also reviewed the imagery of the Taep’o-dong-2 class launch vehicle either from Defense Support Program (DSP) infrared (IR) early warning (EW) satellite in addition to IR-, EW- SIGINT-based satellite detectors, reconnaissance satellite imagery or via stand off UAV, U-2 live broadcast or post UAV, U-2 mission replay imagery or all. Ultimately only the Infrared nighttime imagery of the Taep’o-dong-2 class launch vehicle was obtained since it was not revealed during daylight prior to its night time launch. The Taep’o-dong-2 class launch was analyzed both as a two stages vehicle but also as three stages since the pre-launch telemetry showed it was three stages. (29) Previously the US, National Intelligence Council suggested that the two stage Taep’o-dong-2 had a range of about 10,000 kilometers while the three stage Taep’o-dong-2 had a range of just under 15,000 kilometers using a 250 kilogram warhead. The present warhead mass of the common North Korean, and Iranian first and second generation warhead designs are estimated at 1,158 - 650 kilograms. This would shorten the range performance of the Taep’o-dong-2 in both its two and three stage configuration to around 10,000 – 12,000 kilometers.
Probability of an Immediate Second Taep’o-dong-2 Class Vehicle Flight Test
South Korean Defense Minister Yoon Kwan-ung quoting from the South Korean National Intelligence Service (NIS) confidential report presented to the Parliamentary intelligence committee and separately unnamed US Defense department intelligence sources suggested to reporters including NBC news on Friday July 7, 2006 Asian time that the North Koreans had back in May brought two Taep’o-dong-2 class boosters to the Musudan-ri (No-dong-A/Taep’o-dong-2) launch infrastructure one of which remains stored in the site MIK horizontal assembly ready building. For the South Korean’s to state this before the press and parliamentary committee would suggest that they had imagery intelligence that they could rely on for this information. In fact both Japan and South Korea were shown photos by the US of the two large missiles on their “heavy duty” transport vehicles. (43) The suggestion was “that this second Taep’o-dong-2 class missile was in the final stages of assembly.” Digital Chosun subsequently reported on July 13, 2006 based on the South Korean NIS Directors report to the parliamentary committee on July 12 that 30 tankers had been sighted near the launch site but whether they are empty or full remains unclear. The third stage was pre-fueled before assembly and the second stage may very well have been pre-fueled at the factory though this is not certain but is based on Soviet SLBM practices. Of the total of forty tanker trucks only 30 were directly associated with actual propellant loading leaving 10 tankers for the high pressure gases. That report also dropped the suggested “seven minutes of flight” and was now in agreement with the DOD reporting. It also revealed the debris field inland from the Sea of Japan east of the launch pad as well as the recovery operations. (3, 4, 7, 22) Japan however on July 30, 2006 suggested “that it will likely take a long time for North Korea to launch a Taep’o-dong-2 again”. None of these vehicles are fully developed until at least after two consecutive successful flights and even then they may require further flights until 20 or so are carried out to complete their development shakedown.
Whether this second vehicle is a flight vehicle or a ground test vehicle which would be uncharacteristic of the North Koreans practices remains unclear. This means a second vehicle if it does indeed exist is probably a flight vehicle. US Officials of the Department of Defense strongly stated that there was no evidence to suggest that a second flight was immediately expected due to the catastrophic flight test failure and since no vehicle had been transported to the pad. “Days, if not weeks” of work would be required to prepare it in a similar pattern to what has already been witnessed for the first launch.
On August 4, 2006 it was learned from a South Korean government intelligence official according to JoongAng Ilbo that the second Taep’o-dong-2 class missile may have been removed from the launch infrastructure in mid July 2006. Presumably the North Koreans may have removed the second Taep’o-dong-2 class missile from the launch site infrastructure MIK ready building back to the factory for analysis of the first flight test failure. Subsequently a South Korean Defense Ministry official stated “ There is no clear basis to back up the reports that it has been moved.” (50)
Ballistic Missile Economics Issues
It would also suggest that North Korea, like the Soviet practices, may already have a limited number of these missiles produced and more in production for possible early field deployment or foreign sale to Iran in the not to distant relative future. Production numbers can only be estimated at perhaps 5-10 a year if that much at this juncture. Subsequently Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld stated in a radio interview that “They do -- we do believe and they're assessed to have, oh, something like three or four or five additional Taepodong-2 airframes somewhere in their country,” but that none were ready for launch in a July 8, 2006 interview for a radio talk show hosted by Monica Crowley according to the Washington Times of July 13, 2006. http://www.defenselink.mil/transcripts/2006/tr20060708-13428.html
There has also been information released by South Korean, National Assembly member Chung Hyung-Keun according to the North Korean Zone web site that North Korea intends to produce as many as seventeen Taep’o-dong-2 class launch vehicles for internal deployment and foreign sales. The Taep’o-dong-2 class booster first rendition is estimated to cost $62,893,081.76 while the rest are estimated at $26,250,450.73 each by the NIS . It was also noted that according to the NIS the 400 Scuds cost about $200,000.00 each and the 450 No-dong-A’s cost about $400,000.00 each. These figures seem low to reality. In the past the Taep’o-dong-1 cost was also given for its very limited production run of perhaps less than five vehicles one of which was apparently sold to Iran and looked at by Pakistan . North Korea is said to have gain as much as an estimated $1.5 billion dollars a year from foreign missile sales. On Aug 3, 2006 a report was released by the South Korean funded State run think tank (IFANS) Institute of Foreign Affairs & National Security suggested that the commercial cost of the latest Scud-ER’s is about $2,000,000.00 each and that the cost of the No-dong-A’s is about $4,000,000.00 each with the Taep’o-dong-2 class missile being about $20,000,000.00 each. It further stated that North Korea has annually obtained $150 million (or billion?) from exported missile sales or both parts and technology. Total sales may be in the $580 million or billion ranges. They also indicated that the North Koreans have about 200 No-dong-A’s and 50 No-dong-B’s deployed in addition to 600 varying types of Scud’s. Clearly the pricing of the Scud’s and No-doing-A’s has been mixed up with the million dollar figures probably more accurate but the Taep’o-dong-2 pricing is reasonably accurate. No cost for the Taep’o-dong-1 pathfinder missile for the Taep’o-dong-2 class missile was given and no information indicated it was deployed. Because Iran and China have had several defense industry cooperation agreements it is quite reasonably certain that the Chinese hardware has made its way into the Taep’o-dong-2 class missile technology. This same report also stated that the Taep’o-dong-2 class booster was a joint Iranian, North Korean effort with Chinese, Russian collaboration which is also known as the Iranian Shahab-5 and Shahab-6 space booster ICBM as has been repeatedly stated by this Globalsecurity.org web site. (47, 52)
Initial Flight Reports
According to DOD, State Department and White House news sources, on the afternoon and evening of July 4, 2006 , US time, there were apparently at least six launches from North Korean over a span of four hours.
The US, NORAD and North American Aerospace Defense Command in Colorado also provided information on the multiple launches since it had been placed on the highest alert status on Monday July 3, 2006. There were reports of as many as 10 missile launches that were not confirmed. The military missile exercise of North Korea were characterized as a “Provocation” with no immediate threat to the US and as political theater “show of force” brinkmanship to the United States and the World at large.
It is assumed that all of the July 5-6, 2006 missile launches were dedicated to the late Kim Il-Sung North Korean death anniversary of July 8, 1994 with his birth anniversary February 16, each year. August 15 is North Korea’s Independence Day and the Taep”o-dong-1 launch anniversary 31 August. Certainly North Korea wanted to out do the South Koreans to get a satellite into orbit on their own before the South Koreans do so only to end up with broken egg on their face. According to DOD sources and the White House the first launch from Kittaeryong or (Gitdaeryeong) Gitdaeryung, Anbyun, Gangwon (this is probably the new regional missile base located due south or south east of Wonson (39N/127.5W about 12 miles south Wonson or the vicinity of Namsanyong-ni) labeled Kittaeryong by the White House for the Scud-C’s or Scud-ER’s and No-dong-A but no mention of No-dong-B) province in south eastern North Korea at 2:30 -2:32-2:33 PM EDT +5:00 minutes flight was an older Scud-C launch some 510 kilometers into the Sea of Japan. This was followed by a second launch from Kittaeryong at 3:00 - 3:04 PM EDT +7:00 minutes flight of a No-dong-A launch some 620 kilometers into the Sea of Japan according to DoD sources and the White House. Those two launches which were launched northward to impact between Hokkaido the northern island of Japan and Russian far eastern shore falling some 550-600 km short of the Japanese Island and the other were launched in a similar direction fell some 500 km short of mainland Japan . The impact in the Sea of Japan appears to suggest that these older No-dong-A’s and Scud-ER’s missiles were flown on a high altitude ballistic trajectory, rather than a shallower full range trajectory. There were suggestions of another launch of another Scud-C earlier at 3:59 PM traveling some 550 kilometers but this seems improbable because this would conflict with the subsequent third launch the Taep’o-dong-2 class liftoff at 3:59-4:00-4:01 PM +2:00 minutes of flight reflecting the early confusion as the events unfolded. Presumable the 3:59-4:00 PM time is the official immediate launch notification to the trackers as the vehicle start up was in progress. The third launch was then followed up with a fourth launch at 6:10 - 6:12 PM +5-6 minutes of flight by an old Scud-C launch 420-550 kilometers into Sea of Japan. It in turn was followed up by a fifth launch of another older Scud-C launch from Kittaeryong or Gitdaeryung, Anbyun, Gangwon province at 6:30 -6:31-6:36PM +5-6 minutes of flight 420 kilometers into the Sea of Japan. The sixth launch of Scud-ER from Kittaeryong impacted into the Sea of Japan 312 miles North West of Niigata, Japan was also observed. This sixth launch had a range of some 600 kilometers of a Scud-ER or No-dong-A or No-dong-B which was launched at 7:20 US PM displaying +7-10 minutes of flight. This was followed by seventh launch of another Scud-ER or No-dong-A or No-dong-B at 4:20 US AM +7-10 minutes of flight into the Sea of Japan of ten launches suggested as being observed through late Wednesday North Korean time. None of the last two launches apparently exhibited Scud-C or No-dong-A characteristic known telemetry formats. (23) The ten launches information comes from the Russia ’s Chief of the General Staff and South Korean sources. Details of the other three launches remain uncertain with only seven launches confirmed by multiple official sources. It has been reported that there are three or four missiles remaining to be flown through July 11, 2006. (2, 10)
A subsequent joint review of these ballistic missile flights by the US and Japanese governments intelligence communities seems to have revealed that what was thought to initially be Scud-C flights was actually a new different propellant version of the Scud-C with a capability between the Scud-C and the No-dong-A missiles. This new Scud variant is labeled Scud-ER but it is also suspected to be the No-dong-B which also carried tracking data telemetry devices that defined its performance characteristics. These telemetry systems are believed to be of Chinese origin via Iran as monitored on the Shahab-3B and No-dong-B flight tests very different from the standard Scud-C instrumentation. The range performance was estimated to be between 600 – 1,000 kilometers according to the Yomiuri newspapers quoting unnamed Japanese defense official as published in The Hindu news service. (17, 23)
July 5, 2006 North Korean Military Test Launch Campaign
July 4 th US
July 5 th Japan
|Range Kilometers||Missile Type Flown,( Range)|
|1. 2:30 - 2:32-2:33 + 5 -7?||3:30 - 3:32- 3:33||500-510||Scud-C, Scud-ER? (420)|
|2. 3:00 - 3:04 + 7-10||4:00 -4:04-4:11||600-620||No-dong-A (420)|
|3. 3:59 -4:00 - 4:01 + 2||4:59 - 5:00 -5:01||499-640||TD-2A, 2B, 2C/3 (.5-8.4)|
|4. 6:10 - 6:12 + 5-6||7:10 -7:12, 7:13-7:18||420 -550||Scud-C|
|5. 6:30 - 6:31-6:36 =+ 5-6||7:30 -7:31 , 7:32-7:38||420 -500||Scud-C|
|6. 7:20 US PM + 10-7||8:20 AM , 8:17-8:22||420 -600||Scud-ER, ND-B, ND-A ?|
|7. 4:20 US AM + 10-7||17:20 PM||420 -600||Scud-ER, ND-B, ND-A ?|
Note:This chart contains both initial range data and the underlined final range performance analysis data. Initial U.S. data indicates that a total of 3, Scud-C’s, 3, No-dong-A’s and 1 Taep’o-dong-2 (3 stages) of seven confirmed identified launches of 10 launches suggested. South Korea initially indicates there were 4, Scud-C’s or Scud-ER’s/Hwasong-7 and 2, No-dong-A’s along with 1, Taep’o-dong-2 class booster launch failure. Later South Korea indicated there was 1, Taep’o-dong-2 class launch, 1, No-dong-A, 3, Scud-C’s and 2, No-dong-B’s. Official Japanese Self Defense Forces Agency indicates it was 3, Scud-C’s 1, No-dong-A, and 2, Scud-ER’s and 1, Taep’o-dong-2 class failure. The first time numbers of the Japanese times are the last official times released followed with the variation in the times announced earlier. The + times are the flight durations from open sources. The latest Japanese data seems to reflect in part the all sources allied data fusion conclusions. Flights 4, 5, 6 and 7 demonstrated a circular error probability (CEP) outside of 10 kilometers far worse than the known system previously demonstrated capability according to preliminary reports from the Japanese Self Defense Forces Agency documents. Flight 1 displayed the Scud-C full range capability while flight 2 displayed the No-dong-A’s partial range capability. The last four flights of two Scud-C’s and either two Scud-ER‘s or two No-dong-B’s or two No-dong-A’s flights were flown over a 420 kilometer ground track range to a common target triangular area about 780 kilometers North West of Niigata Japan. The last two flights were flown to a much high altitude than were the Scud-C’s. (23) The actual flight times for the Scud-C’s, Scud-ER’s or No-dong-A’s as well as the No-dong-B remains incomplete and fluid as the diversity of the data indicates. More recently Japan has decided that the first flight was a Scud-ER with the second and third through the fifth flights remaining the same. They now believe that the last two sixth and seventh flights were No-dong-A’s. The Scud-C’s have a range up to 500-550 kilometers with a flight time of 5 minutes. The Scud-ER’s/Hwasong-7 has a range of 850-1,000 kilometers with a flight time up to 6 minutes. The No-dong-A’s have a range of 1,350-1,600 kilometers with a flight time of at least 7 minutes. The No-dong-B’s have a range of 3,000-4,000 kilometers with a flight time up to at least 10 minutes.
Map of the original analysis released of the Japanese Defense Agency and the South Korean, National Intelligence Service. Both impact areas suggest a much longer more scattered targeting effort outside what North Korea originally warned against. It has a considerable level of error due to false radar targets. The ellipse near the 42nd. parallel was not used by North Korea during the seven test flights
This final map shows the impact points concentrated with in a 100 kilometer circle with the accuracy within thirty to forty kilometers of the circular center and except for the Taep'o-dong-2 class launch number  displays that the final analysis suggests that all six impacted with in the circle as planned by North Korea. How accurate they were is unknown.
Preliminary Data on the Taep’o-dong-2A or 2B or 2C/3 First Flight Test Failure?
The third launch at 3:59 - 4:00 -4: 01 PM was either a Taep’o-dong-2A or 2B and or 2C/3 configuration yet to be confirmed that failed between 30 and 60 seconds based on initial CNN reports on the launch. Indications are that the upon further review showed that the telemetry was lost between 50-52 seconds based on initial CNN reports perhaps due to its break-up. Based on telemetry it had ultimately failed between 35-40-42 seconds into the launch over the Musudan-ri (No-dong-A/Taep’o-dong-2) launch infrastructure according to DOD, sources and White House National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley since it only remained stable through 42 seconds. Hadley also indicated that the North Koreans have several more Scud-C’s and No-Dong-A missiles ready to launch beyond the six launches that had already occurred. This launch failure is indicative of a characteristic max–Q maximum dynamic pressure failure mid-air tilting over folding break-up taking several seconds of in flight catastrophic disassembly. Speculating a little further it would appear to be a possible propulsion clustering and or Vernier steering control authority, guidance loss of control failure by the first stage which should have burned between 118-120-128 seconds depending on which configuration was launched as the final design. Almost certainly it was a satellite launch at an inclination of 40 degrees, 51 minutes or perhaps a three stage booster dummy warhead launch to impact down range in the south Pacific relative to South America . This analyst is reasonably certain it was not aimed at the United States at a much higher inclination as discussed below. It ultimately impacted near the launch site infrastructure and just off shore perhaps about 1.4-8.4 kilometers from the pad with perhaps 10.4 km altitude gained before collapsing into the Sea of Japan . Sandy Berger former national security adviser to President Clinton said on CNN’s, Larry King’s panel interview program that “He would not want to be the head of the Taep’o-dong program in North Korea”.
The State Department had earlier said that the Propellant tanker trucks were removed from the launch facility about a day before the launch. The renewal of activity was apparently detected by intelligence sources and methods monitoring capability as noted below over the weekend July 1, 2006 . It had become apparent that all parties knew by late Friday that the launch vehicle was undergoing final preparation which dove tails the previous officials comment through this last weekend. The weather as expected finally cleared to partly cloudy night time over North Korea at least briefly. This launch timing was no surprise to this analyst that the North Korean leadership would attempt to do this July 4, 2006 launch attempt. I stayed up all night expecting it last night US time day time in North Korea . It was delayed. I still suspect that they had first stage build up preparation problems.
Additional launches were expected and a follow up Taep’o-dong satellite or ballistic missile launch can in due course be expected. All the launches were said to be observed in real time or near real time by the applied allied intelligence sources and methods. Some confusion still exists on which Taep’o-dong-2 missile configurations were flown.
Early expectations of the launch attempt appeared to have been premature for a prototype launch vehicle preparation operation based on world demonstrated practices. Early analysis at first would seem to point to a July or August flight test but events seem to initially suggest otherwise. If this launch had not occur within the next four weeks or two months then it must be assumed that some political policy and or technical issue have scrubbed this attempt for some unknown period. Depending on when the rainy season begins in North Korea and propellant status issues, this launch window could be as much as a month or several months long for this North Korean launch campaign. This is more realistic to the expected requirements for a successful orbital launch mission.
Previously, this web site has reported that the Taep’o-dong-2C/3 launch was expected soon because of both the engineering progress subtly identified from both static test firings, launch site additions and the flight test of the No-dong-B on January 17, 2006 out of Iran for both North Korea and Iran . This would appear to confirm President Bush’s “Axis of Evil” statement in a very blatant way as both Iran and North Korea thumbs their collective nose to the rest of the world’s desires. For further information on these see; http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/world/iran/missile-development.htm as well as from http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/library/report/2006/cpvick-no-dong-b.htm and the No-dong-B test flight http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/library/report/2006/cpvick-no-dong-b_2006.htm.
It also provided Iran with the Taep’o-dong-2C/3 technology base. Iran for some time now has been trying to get the Taep’o-dong-2C/3 for its own strategic and space programs. A successful flight-test to orbit by the North Koreans would enhance its value to the Iranians who have also contributed considerably through the years to this joint effort.
This January 17, 2006 test firing of the presumed No-dong-B confirmed the end of the North Korean long range ballistic missile self-imposed testing moratorium from 1999 through 2003 that was continued until March 2005. This is when North Korea declared it was no longer bound by its self-imposed moratorium.
Which Design Change Surprise?
It took place in the context of being near the end of what has now turned out to be part of a seven year research and development cycle circumstantially apparently dropping the original derivations of the Taep’o-dong-2, 2A, or 2B design and culminating in a flight test to orbit for the new higher performance prototype Taep’o-dong-2C/3 and its satellite payload. For all practical purposes, it is a Taep’o-dong-3 replacing the old Taep’o-dong-2 design concept mock-up seen in 1994 imagery. The highly successful precursor No-dong-B operational deployed test flight out of Iran successfully demonstrated the performance of the totally redesigned Taep’o-dong-2C/3 or 2B second stage as well as the common propulsion system used in the first stage of the Taep’o-dong-2C/3. This new first stage propulsion is different from the Taep’o-dong-2, 2A original conceptual satellite space booster, intercontinental ballistic missile launch vehicle design. That original Taep’o-dong-2, 2A design was based on the No-dong-A technology not the No-dong-B technology for the Taep’o-dong-2C/3 design. The Taep’o-dong-2B reflects the combined technologies with the first stage using the No-dong-A technology while the second stage uses the No-dong-B. Which design of the flight test launch vehicle is displayed and flown will for intelligence define how far along the North Korean missile technology have developed.
The deployment and successful launch of the No-dong-B was a real warning of how advanced they are at this point. Tentative preliminary analysis would suggest that it is the Taep’o-dong-2C/3 design based on a close examination of the June 9th image of the raised pad under the gantry service levels does barely reveal possibly a white booster first stage engine boat tail sitting on the pad. The resolution is so low as to be irresolvable for the required clarity certainty of this analysis. This may also indicate that the launch vehicle may not be using large base fins as illustrated below but instead is using gimbals mounted vernier thrust chambers for steering like the No-dong-B uses. The subsequent July 5, 2006 launches of what is presumed to be the second and third flight test of the No-dong-B strongly suggests that is the technology base on which the North Korean’s decided some seven years ago to develop the Taep’o-dong-2C/3 configuration final flown design. This is a dramatic technological step forward for North Korean missile development reflecting over 15-18 years of assimilating the design systems technology.
This would place this booster in the Russian SS-7/R-16, ICBM design technology category. In retrospect, this appears to have been the real purpose of the North Korean so-called self-imposed testing moratorium in order to buy time to develop this better performance launch vehicle design and with no intentions of doing otherwise. The moratorium was a successful shell game on the World stage with all of its implications.
Unha-2, Taep'o-dong-2B Evolutionary Development 1994-2006
Deployment and Proliferation Probability
If North Korea was to finally give up this seriously threatened launch attempt which it did not as an exercise in systems integration ground testing to get concessions similar to the Iranian package offer in the Six-Party, talks on the North Korean nuclear and missile programs in the face of the Worlds united resolve. They then should dismantle it in plain site for all to see to their satisfaction. Ultimately it has to be assumed that as previously predicted by this web site that if North Korea does not flight test the Taep’o-dong-2C/3 launch vehicle which it did then almost certainly Iran will do so for North Korea and Iran. This is in spite of the fact that the launch site for Iran is not known or completed at the present time. It would also portend DPRK own limited deployment for political reasons of the Taep’o-dong-2C/3 in coffin or silo facilities with or without this flight test much as they did with the land mobile No-dong-B. A subsequent report by the South Korean, Foreign Ministry State funded think tank (IFANS) Institute of Foreign Affairs & National Security report by Yun Deok-min a security specialist suggested that North Korea is presently developing two underground silo missile bases near the Chinese PRC border in the counties of Deoksung and Heocheon in north eastern Hamgyong Province with the latter facilities to house the Taep’o-dong-2 class ICBM. (47, 48)
Satellite Payload Background North Korean or Iranian or Both
Several years ago when North Korea opened an exhibit of a mock up of its original satellite at its science museum it also displayed a communication satellite mock up that was said to be several years from launching. This satellite presumably named Gwangmyeongseong-2 is assumed to be the payload of this first attempted Taep’o-dong-2C/3 (Baekdusan-2) launch. It has also been suggested that a weather satellite may be the payload. The payload mass is expected to be in the 170 and 250-550 kilogram range verses a 650 kilogram dummy warhead and it could very well turn out to be an Iranian or Iranian/DPRK satellite and payload shroud fairing design already planned. What is the reason why North Korea launched these missiles early in the morning? Is the reason connected with the limitation time of the rocket launch payload that is driven by the need to use its earth sensor and sun sensor? Depending on its mission payload those elements could have played a part but in general if the mission payload goal is known then the launch time is derived backwards for that goal. This vehicle had limited capability to earth orbit so a communications satellite or a weather satellite may have had a timing issue for availability for broad cast to North Korea daily that dictated its launch time. The inclination is not the usual type for either a weather satellite or a COMSAT but more like a test or scientific satellite. Actually North Korea has little choice but to use the one inclination available to it with out crossing more than one country minimally.
The fact that the launch site is above ground exposed where a very great deal can be observed certainly holds that this is an occasional satellite launch attempt not a strategic ballistic missile operation. If the launch were to occur from a coffin launch site or a large silo facility then it would be an easily recognizable strategic systems test. A true full-range ICBM flight test is not at this time expected out of North Korea . There is very little difference between an ICBM and a satellite launch vehicle test since the delivery transport system is being commonly demonstrated.
Iranian Collaborative Connection
For years it has been known that Iran has helped North Korea finance its Taep’o-dong-2 class launch vehicle development for Iran ’s mutual use. (6) At least ten Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) officers’, along with chief engineers, technicians and scientists transited from Tehran, Iran via Beijing, China to North Korea to participated in the preparation of this Taep’o-dong launch. Iran ’s long range telemetry monitoring Boeing-737 aircraft may also have been a part of the flight test buildup as it was for Taep’o-dong-1’s launch in addition to one or more identified North Korean ships deployed on July 5, 2006 . North Korea also used Chinese based telemetry and tracking systems that were acquired by the Iranians from China from its Shahab-3A, 3B and Shahab-4/No-dong-B/Mirim program for this launch. The Iranians also examined North Korean, Chinese acquired hardware for its eventual acquisition from China that is applicable to both missile programs. This is believed to be related to the highly toxic, corrosive, hypergolic UDMH (Unsymmetrical Dimethylhydrazine) and IRFNA (Inhibited Red Fuming Nitric Acid) propellants handling technology already in North Korea ’s possession that is utilized in the No-dong-B and Taep’o-dong-2 class missile programs. A UDMH propellant farm was apparently added near the Taep’o-dong-2 class launch pad site between the years 2000-2004 giving the strongest indication of a major launch vehicle design change. http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/world/dprk/nodong.htm It is presumed to have been purchased through some means from China via the CPMIEC China Precision Machinery Import & Export Corporation based on its propellants for rockets brochure which is believed to have had sanctioned imposed on it by the US. Iran had received the 18, No-dong-B’s from North Korea back in December 2005 through its Bandar-e-Abbas port. (18, 19, 20, 27) Immediately after the delivery in December 2005 it was followed with a flight test of the No-dong-B on January 17, 2006 out of Iran . This leaves Iran with 17 No-dong-B’s one of which must be an engineering training vehicle. It would appear that the last two so called Scud-ER’s may very well have been the second and third flight test of the No-dong-B’s now flown by North Korea . (23)
Earlier in the year and in previous years and on July 3, 2006 the US government placed sanctions on several Chinese, Iranian and North Korean companies most of which work for or are a part of the governments of the said countries. The US government imposed sanction penalties on at least five Chinese entities: The Taian Foreign Trade General Coroporation, Zibo Chemical Equipment Plant, Liyang Yunlong Chemical Equipment Group Company, China North Industries Corporation (NORINCO), and the China Precision Machinery Import/Export Corporation (CPMIEC) and the North Korean Changgwang Sinyong Corporation pursuant to the Iran Nonproliferation Act and the missile sanctions law. (24)
Before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, on July 20, 2006 Assistant Secretary of State Christopher R. Hill confirmed that Iran had representatives attending the recent missile test in North Korea on July 5, 2006 . When Hill was questioned by the Republican Senator of Virginia, George Allen: "Is it not true that there were at least one or more Iranian officials there to watch those missile launches?" Hill responded: "Yes, that is our understanding." Hill also went on to confirm the concerns about the relationship between Iran and North Korea and on going commercial sales of missile. (25) However outside the committee hearings and in subsequent news conferences Hill told the reporters that “the report is unconfirmed” and that he could not confirm the open reports. (28) Respectfully what one is to make of this in the face of years of overwhelming circumstantial and direct public evidence including open official intelligence assessment reports before as observers at the two launch infrastructures, in the air and out at sea for the programs they have financed is to be in denial to the point of being laughable.
North Korea during the week of July 24, 2006 hosted an Iran Parliamentary delegation in Pyongyang to celebrate its “friendly and cooperative relationship growing strong in various field’s.” according to the LA Times, July 27 th edition.
Ongoing Intelligence Operations
Based on open-press reports, intelligence operations have been carried out by US, Japanese and South Korean assets such as the three-to-six available USAF U-2 spy planes or space-based U.S. KH-12 and Japanese imaging observation satellites as well as HUMINT sources and methods assets. SIGINT (signals intelligence - i.e. radio signals traffic) monitoring has been reported via ship-based and RC-135 radar, RC-135V/W Rivet Joint and RC-135S Cobra Ball SIGINT aircraft on continuous shift duty with in-flight refueling for the past week or so among others known. SIGINT has clearly been picking up the testing as it is conducted, otherwise these press reports would not be appearing with the detail that they have. These new ship-based and mobile land-based SIGINT, RADINT assets have been based in Japan and South Korea for some years now. According to published reports, Japan has deployed two of its four Aegis destroyers one in the Pacific Ocean and one in the Sea of Japan . The US Navy, meanwhile, has deployed two Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers and other monitoring ships in the Sea of Japan , off the coast of North Korea near the Musudan-ri (No-dong-A/Taep’o-dong) launch site. This is done to carry out the early tracking as well as data gathering should a launch occur.
Such launches would first be picked up by the Defense Support Program (DSP) infrared (IR) early warning (EW) satellite in addition to IR-, EW- and SIGINT-based satellite detectors along with the recognition of the increased SIGINT satellite monitored radio traffic from the launch. Subsequently, it would be picked up by Japanese home radars and NSA SIGINT facilities followed by the US Army/NSA, US Air Force Shemya radar station, possibly as well the Hawaiian and Kwajalein Atoll radars. The US navy has also committed its “ Observation Island ” ship equipped with its Cobra Jude radar to this monitoring effort along with the Japanese ship based Maritime Self-Defense Force deployment. Meanwhile, three carrier strike groups that completed the largest exercise since Vietnam on June 23, 2006 but may now be taking part in further war games of Hawaii explained below but could potentially become available should the need arise.
t was learned on June 29 that Japan’s, Maritime Self-Defense Force had earlier ordered its third Aegis advanced radar ship capable of tracking opposing missiles and capable of guiding interceptor missiles the destroyer Kirishima back to the Japanese waters. This ship has left the US controlled multinational Rim of Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC) major naval war game exercise near Hawaii . This is to supplement the Japanese ships already deployed in the region as noted above. It had already participated in the June 22 ballistic missile warhead tracking drill with the US Navy. The US navy has also deployed two Aegis radar destroyers normally based in Yokosuka , Japan . This is in addition to two US Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers and other monitoring ships in the Sea of Japan , off the coast of North Korea . The Kirishima is one of four Japanese destroyers with the US built Aegis missile interceptor radar capability. Two of these have already been deployed in Japanese waters as noted above. This is the fifth ship of its Aegis class to be deployed in an array to monitor the flight of the North Korean launch vehicle. The joint US and Japanese ship and land based monitoring capabilities are being marshaled in an organized array fashion so as to obtain the maximum intelligence from this flight test of the Taep’o-dong-2C/3. By the week of July 24, 2006 all Japanese, South Korean naval surveillance activities had returned to normal operations after the July 5, 2006 seven missiles launches out of North Korea monitoring defensive alert operations. American naval activity had apparently also returned to near normal monitoring activity levels in the region earlier than the others. Three of those Japanese Ships were deployed both on the Sea of Japan and four on the Pacific Ocean along the expected critical flight path. Perhaps they even shadowed the North Korean so called Patrol observation ships also deployed for the all too obvious purpose. (34)
Equally clear is the fact that the US intelligence community has probably gotten quite a lot of information from the build up to launch and from the launch to define the Taep’o-dong-2 class missiles design configuration details as well as it performance and operational details. Pre-launch observations of the launch vehicle pad tower area and the tanker trucks with sensor instrumentation observation of the vented vapors including air sampling of various types whether space born or air born could detect and identify the propellant combinations being utilized. Sampling of the exhaust gases traveling through the global atmosphere winds as well as flame imagery of the launch would define the booster’s individual stage propellant with considerable certainty through the use of comparative data. Radar skin bathing of the launch vehicle along with thermal imaging and photo imaging would define its structures, dimensional design detail. Signals intelligence SIGINT and RADINT radar intelligence would define the thrust, specific impulse, burn times, flight times, velocities, range ground track and altitude events performance trajectory information. Combining all of this kind of all sources intelligence data allows the US intelligence community to literally set up a launch vehicle operator’s manual for this vehicle’s operational capability and limitations for an accurate computer modeling of the threat analysis profile.
Why were the resulting of observation by South Korea , Japan and Russia inaccurate with the same contents? In Russia ’s case multiple radars duplicated the data because they were not coordinated as I am sure they later realized to their embarrassment. I am sure the real time experience was a real eye opener to all concerned. There were many issues including weather, real time data collection, coordination, constant review and radar calibration that played into this failure to pick up all the launches. The first, third and sixth launches were not picked up by radar but by telemetry over the horizon etc.
Have the North Korea ’s Intentions & Plans been identified by ONI?
Indications of North Korea ’s intentions may have been revealed through the chance monitoring of potential North Korean and perhaps Iranian launch data acquisition tracking ships activities. This is accomplished by observing the hardware activities and its range supporting infrastructure operations. Though this has not been confirmed it is known that Japan has in the past run into these modest but very powerful fast North Korean monitoring so called fishing ships. Certainly North Korea is known to have modest (KPN) Korean Peoples Navy, naval capabilities that could have been outfitted to accomplish this requirement. There is the probability that potentially some kind of tracking launch telemetry monitoring ships were deployed down range from the North Korean launch site in the Sea of Japan as well as on the Pacific Ocean near Japan under several key area’s of the launches ground track. Presumably the third stage with its payload may coast to the apogee of the orbit before it is fired to complete the orbit circularization insertion. This may require a monitoring command control ship to be located some where in the south eastern Pacific relative to South America . Monitoring of the activity of these ships may have provided an indicator of the North Korean plans and intentions. The US , Office of Naval Intelligence is presumably attempting to identify and monitor such activity on a continuous basis. As a matter of policy the US government would not acknowledge this if it had such implied confirming information available while dealing through the Six-Party negotiation process less it be undermined more than it already has from this mini missile crisis.
One DPRK flight monitoring ship had left the area off the North Korean east coast near the Sea of Japans ’ missile flights impact foot prints. Whether there were further monitoring ships stationed down range and on the Pacific Ocean from the launch site remains uncertain. The DPRK designated the impact area as a “No-sail” and “No-fly zone” until July 11, 2006 . Further flights of the tactical Scud-C’s and No-dong-A’s are expected in the mean time. The build up to the six tactical missile launches was no surprise to the US , because they were fully observed by the US intelligence capability as it was in progress and they quickly determined once launched that they were of no threat to the US . This implies that they did identify the launch azimuth, inclination of the Taep’o-dong-2 class booster’s first launch as it was climbing out before failure probably by radar flight path imaging projection. Through this last weekend with the arrival of the USS Mustin, July 8, 2006 the US Navy had deployed some eight varying Aegis class destroyer tracking radar missile interceptor ships to the Yokosuka, base in Japan. Next month the guided missile cruiser USS Shiloh is expected to arrive. The Mustin is to replace the older USS Vandergrift and is a part of the normal rotation of the ships to replace the older Aegis class destroyers with the newer more capable renditions. Additionally it was learned that the Enterprise aircraft carrier task force group returning from the Persian Gulf was to arrive in the area.
Classified Telemetry Observations?
It is assumed that the observed launch vehicle telemetry testing only shows the operational launch planning of the first two stages while third stage telemetry is essentially silent. It is possible that it may be buried within the first two stages telemetry per Soviet/Russian practice. This would also suggest that the payload would remain silent until just seconds before separation from the second stage as seen in Soviet/Russian commercial satellite launches. Reports of only the first two stages being there do not preclude the highly probable third stage's presence for a satellite launch attempt. The demonstrated presence of the third stage would indicate this launch vehicle as an operational ICBM, which would be capable of covering most of the continental United States . It also however indicates’ that its present configuration is as a satellite launch vehicle. Vice President Dick Cheney while downgrading the launch threat made it clear on June 22, 2006 that the launch vehicle consists of three stages but that the payload remained uncertain. It is however highly suspected to be a satellite not a warhead and would be highly consistent with the monitored SIGINT available as explained above. The Vice Presidents statement would seem to indicate that the telemetry for the third stage upon close examination was indeed identified. This SIGINT information if nearly complete would identify the launch vehicles full flight plans, velocities desired for each stage, their thrust, Specific Impulse, stage burn times, range distance and altitude, and general trajectory inclination details. It is unknown whether the allied intelligence operations have been able to accomplish this. As a matter of policy the US government would not acknowledge this if it had such implied confirming information available while dealing through the Six-Party negotiation process less it be undermined more than it already has from this mini missile crisis.
The potentiality of the repeat of past North Korean practices learned from the Chinese missile program of carrying a recoverable in flight data recorder package or payload in the, a recoverable re-entry vehicle does not seem to have been utilized during these seven flights test military exercise. In the past when the No-dong-A and Scud-C were introduced this was the practice with no telemetry being transmitted. Six of the test launches not including the Taep’o-dong-2C/3 launch were as usual parallel to the eastern coast of North Korea giving them complete coastal radar coverage of the flights.
Based on the reports on the grainy imagery available to the South Korean NIS and all other imagery from US and Japanese sources and methods due to cloud cover must be based on space based radar imagery of varying degrees of grainy quality and the lingering U-2 flights with repeated passes over the points of interest imagery not available to the general public and press.
Unrealistic to Shoot Down this Launch
There has been the suggestion to shoot down the Taep’o-dong-2C/3 while it is in flight if it is aimed at the United States . If it is launched to place a satellite into earth orbit it will fly due east at approximately 40 degrees, 51 minutes inclination out of the Musudan-ri (No-dong/Taep’o-dong) launch site. The trajectory ground track would head east and south towards the mid pacific equatorial crossing of roughly 180-160 degrees West or 180-200 degrees east. This is based on the Taep’o-dong-1 three stage launch precursor experience. This would, however, place the vehicle's trajectory nowhere near Alaska or California ABM facilities but closer to the Hawaiian Islands and Kwajalein Atoll. By the time the payload crosses the equator, it will have probably already have been placed into earth orbit. In order for the launch to approach the US , it would have to be flown on a much higher inclination dropping its first and second stages on the PRC/China and the Russian Federation which would permit it to cross the Alaskan route. This is highly improbable and brings into serious question the viability of such politicized public discussions.
Orbital Attempt Ground Track Map
This map view of the world shows the approximate ground track for an orbital launch out of North Korea using a minimum energy trajectory at an inclination of approximately 40 degrees, 51 minutes. It can plainly be seen that the trajectory goes no where near Alaska or California. The other approximate flight paths show on the second and third globe view is for the ballistic trajectory aimed at various regions of the United States which would be subject to ABM intercept if launched on such a flight path. It is also plainly clear that the first two stages of such ballistic missile flights would impact down range in China and Russia if launched at the United States.
This world map view shows the approximate ground track of an orbital launch out of North Korea using a minimum energy trajectory at an inclination of approximately 40 degrees 51 minutes. Although the launch is expected to be close to 40 degrees, 51 minutes inclination this still serves the purpose to indicate where the approximate flight path would be. This circular orbital ground track illustrates how very far its path is from the Alaska and California ABM systems installations. It also indicates the approximate line along which mission data gathering ships would be located at key points in the flight on both sides of Japan and in the South eastern Pacific relative close to South America .
Maps Two and Three Show the Flight Paths for Launch at the United States
First Reports and the Research & Development Process
The earliest published reports on the suggestion that North Korea was to flight test a new larger Taep’o-dong-2/3 class booster were from around May 19th 2006 .(26) North Korea is notorious for deploying early development weapons system in the field like the former Soviet Union did to work out systems problems as was observed for the No-dong-B deployment in 2003 and 2004 before flight testing it as an operational system on January 17, 2006 . Such confidence in weapons systems performance reliability can only be based on a thorough underground, ground testing regime. By Western standards, however, this is a very different way of doing such business successfully. So far, this methodology has proven highly successful for “rudimentary” North Koreans missile programs.
Origin of the Reports
An open source Japanese commercial ground station for an American earth imagery commercial satellite (Japanese Digital Globe or Japanese GOI) as early as May 6th, or 11th, 2006 caught the North Korean missile teams arrive with road mobile booster stages, payload tarp-covered transport trailers and tractor trucks in the vicinity of the 55 meter long and 20-30 meters wide MIK horizontal assembly ready testing building near the North Korean Taep’o-dong-2C/3 Musudan-ri (No-dong/Taep’o-dong) launch site. The transporters with the booster and satellite hardware had been brought to the region buy ship barge to the nearby port facilities where they were unloaded. The May 6, 2006 imagery attempt is now presumed to be incorrect or unsuccessful.
Geo-Eye May 17th imagery
The May 17th Geo-Eye imagery seemed to indicate that the initial signs of vehicles and personnel activity had disappeared except for two trucks; one near the assembly building and the other parked near the two parked erectors on the No-dong-A circular pad next to the Taep’o-dong pad. It appeared that on or before May 17th, the booster’s first two stages had been installed on the 2.0 meter inside diameter raised “Chinese like-Redstone-Jupiter”- pad. That pad can accommodate the 2.2 meter diameter 107,400 kg thrust booster first stage.
This is probably when the so called “fall-away equipment” test was observed by intelligence sources and methods. What they observed was probably the erectors being removed from the pad area while the umbilical fall-away pull test are normal non-destruct pre-launch testing before propellant-loading. North Korean missile military technicians would also carry out propellant tank pressurization and feed lines umbilical test to check their integrity before propellant-loading. These tests are among many basic types of quality control tests done before a launch. All of this would have been preceded by a total non-destructive electronic systems integration testing in the preceding weeks.
Missing Hardware Commercial Imagery Explanation
What is however missing is clear imagery of the pad with the launch vehicle on it during the assembly build-up or during the so-called fueling build-up process. In the usable open source imagery released to-date there is no evidence of a launch vehicle on the pad that can be for certain identified. The successful May 17th Geo-Eye and May 24th, June 9th Digital Globe and June 15th, images are the only ones that have been available through June 28, 2006 . This has made it impossible to confirm subsequent reports emanating out of Japan and South Korea . Commercial imagery collection attempts were made on March 19 by Japanese Digital Globe. Subsequent attempts were also made in May which was apparently unsuccessful except for the May 24th image. Digital Globe attempted other collects on June 1st, 11th, 14th and 19th but cloud cover prevented successful collection of imagery of the required launch infrastructure points of interest except for the June 9th image. The May 6, 2006 imagery attempt is now presumed to be incorrect or unsuccessful.
Digital Globe May 24th Imagery
The May 24th images confirmed the long-expected introduction of environmental curtains to the gantry service levels resulting in the total enclosure of the vehicle on the pad and thus preventing the top of the gantry to the bottom near the pad area from being viewed. In all previous imagery, the gantry umbilical towers' twelve service levels were plainly visible with no identifiable curtains. Through the June 9th imagery this continues to remain the case.
Digital Globe June 9th Imagery
The June 9th imagery certainly indicated considerably more launch infrastructure vehicles and personnel activities confirming the reported launch build-up suggestions. This imagery, though suffering from considerable ground reflection sensitization, is however quite revealing. At least two new vehicles, in addition to the previous vehicles identified, are parked in the vicinity of the MIK horizontal assembly building and a whole series of vehicles and or new equipment not identified before can be seen around the range launch control center. The launch pad area also seems to indicate some personnel and possible vehicle/facility activity. The lack of many visible personnel would seem to indicate a standing order to remain inside sheltered areas and that the total number of personnel involved is limited to strictly what is required for this launch build up. It is said that about 1,000 DPRK soldiers are guarding the region of the launch infrastructure. Presumably, there are Iranian engineer and technician observers also present and participating in this build-up operation. Close examination of the June 9th image of the raised pad under the gantry service levels does barely reveal the pad presence and possibly a white booster first stage engine boat tail sitting on the pad but the resolution is so low as to be irresolvable for the required clarity certainty of this analysis. This may also indicate that the launch vehicle may not be using large base fins but instead is using gimbals mounted vernier thrust chambers for steering like the No-dong-B uses. This is because this Taep’o-dong-2C/3 is based on the No-dong-B technology not the No-dong-A technology of the older original Taep’o-dong-2, 2A design as previously noted above. See http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/world/dprk/td-2.htm
June 15th Image
The June 15th image due to the pixel size left much to be desired. It shows what appear to be two parallel parked vehicles near the base rear left-upper side of the umbilical tower of the gantry on the pad area and one vehicle pointed towards the tower on its right-rear lower side. Up on the left side of the circular No-dong-A pad areas, up to six or seven parked vehicles are visible, some of which are parallel parked. The two erectors remain in place and on the right side of the erectors is apparently one parked vehicle. Presumably this is the image that is the origin of the reported ten vehicles on the pad report of June 16, out of Japan and South Korea that later over the weekend became 40 parked vehicles. At least two more camouflaged army soldier transport trucks and one additional army vehicle have been identified on the road side parking area leading away from the pad to the MIK building making it a total of twelve to fourteen vehicles tentatively identified on the pad area on June 15, 2006 . Only one vehicle as in earlier imagery shows up in the launch control center while only one vehicle shows up on the road leading to the pad near the MIK building and the dolly carriage remains in place near the rear MIK building.
June 22nd Imagery
The June 22, 2006 Digital Globe, imagery showed the on going fueling tanker truck operation around the base of the launch pad with most of the tanker trucks removed from the launch pad area leaving only two tanker located on each side of the pad. At least one side of the movable service levels of the gantry umbilical tower around the launch vehicle have been folded back but the view available does not permit a view of the launch vehicle.
July 5th Imagery
The July 5, 2006 Digital Globe, imagery of the post launch facility details shows the extensive ground burn mark foliage destruction from the flame deflector gas jet outlet that goes under the gantry tower. The tower service levels are fully folded back revealing the hanging umbilical’s from the launch. Additionally the pad is fully visible as is the near pad area of growth that has also been scorched from the launch. A inland debris field due west at about 40 degrees, 51 minutes inclination down range from the launch site has been identified in the post launch July 5, 2006 imagery with recovery operations indicated both at the impact area and outside the MIK horizontal assemble building.
The square dolly observed in the May 24 imagery outside the MIK horizontal assembly ready building is for the encapsulated satellite payload fairing and third stage payload which were hoisted and stacked by the gantry umbilical tower crane. It remains unclear whether the satellite payload had been stacked on top of the booster assemblage but this analyst thinks it has, based on other reports that say the stack is completely assembled with military technicians continuing preparatory work in the total infrastructure. Prior to this, the second stage was erected and hoisted for stacking on top of the first stage by the gantry umbilical tower crane. Based on Japanese reports, the encapsulated satellite payload fairing and third stage payload was apparently stacked some time on June 19, prior to the satellite imagery spotting technicians in the top of the gantry umbilical tower service levels.
Reviewing the last several weeks’ activity would suggest that the North Koreans have been putting on quite an expensive masquerade charade for the allied countries intelligence communities imaging and SIGINT systems with no real beef being displayed. That is not quite totally correct but does give some feel for what is presumed or potentially going on. This analyst is not so persuaded that this has been just a ploy for concessions only by the DPRK. This launch vehicle on the pad is no cardboard balloon replica as it is the satellite space booster launch vehicle expected. North Korea ’s established practice is to not use facilities systems test vehicles but when they were still working with the older design of the Taep’o-dong-2, 2A many years ago they erected the rocket on the pad for fifty days without fueling it and then removed it after systems integration testing. During one period, they also static test fired it on the pad. The redesigned vehicle was static test-fired several times with at least one failure at the Static test center in the region. The damage to the facility was quickly repaired and the testing was quickly renewed successfully. They also erected a large “Atlas” like gantry over that static test firing center test cell for the stages servicing.
Propellant Loading Constraints
The reported ten propellant and gases loading trucks, later reported as forty, arrived on site as of June 15-17, 2006 . The launch vehicle propellant loading was suggested as having been completed during the June 17-18, 2006 period. At least eight to thirty six of those tractor truck tanker vehicles are evenly divided between highly toxic, corrosive, hypergolic UDMH (Unsymmetrical Dimethylhydrazine) and IRFNA (Inhibited Red Fuming Nitric Acid) propellants while the other two to four tanker trucks are presumably the high pressure nitrogen and helium gas tankers. Launch vehicle propellant loading should take about twelve hours or so with the underground reservoirs storage tanks being filled first. Those tanks would have the capability to maintain both the properly cooled temperatures as well as regularly stirring those storable propellants to prevent them from breaking down chemically which could start to occur with in a month if they remain undisturbed. Those tanks and their plumbing pumps systems are used to load the propellants into the launch vehicle and top off the tanks just prior to launch for final launch preparation. The tanker trucks individually also have this propellant maintenance capability. Subsequently, South Korean NIS (National Intelligence Service) sources indicated 40 tanker trucks for less than 15 tons kerosene and 45 tons oxidizing agent to equal 65 tons of propellant (though only between 50 and 60 tons appeared available) for the booster and top off storage tanks and facility gantry umbilical tower plumbing lines near the pad. This however begs the question of whether all the DPRK’s propellant tanker trucks have had to be requisitioned to this national effort. In any case, this is correct except that the NIS is probably wrong on the required propellant mass versus the volume capacity of the tanker trucks. In fact the propellants are different as expected from what the NIS of South Korea thinks for this new launch vehicle which explains the mass, volume discrepancy. It is clear from this that the South Koreans are not getting all the all source information available to the US . Yes it has been clear through out this North Korean missile monitoring activity that the US was not showing everything it has to the South Koreans because of American intelligence community official’s uncertainties in regards to the sharing of intelligence with the political, and some of the intelligence and military officials of South Korea out of a fear it could end up in the hands of the North Koreans. This is not the first time that the US intelligence community, because of various political socialist oriented regime reasons, refused to share intelligence with other countries that they in previous times have shared. It is equally clear that South Korea through the years have acquired considerable intelligence assets with considerable success to fulfill their needs.
The Unknown Propellant Loading Question
The unknown question is however whether the underground tanks were filled first for launch vehicle loading (which is the normal safety practice) or whether the propellant was pumped directly onboard the launch vehicle from the series of four to eighteen fuel and four to eighteen oxidizer tanker trucks? These tankers would be arranged in series parallel plumbing groups of four to eighteen on two different sides of the launch pad to isolate the fuel and oxidizer from one another. Both would be run as separate operations at different times. This kind of arrangement is used for the loading operation for either the underground tanks filling or the direct loading of the booster tanks. It would be an arrangement for example much like the tanker arrangements seen in Cuba during the missile crisis in October 1962. Launch time is probably less than twenty four to fourth eight hours away our time in the US based on this phase of the operation if the propellants have been loaded on the launch vehicle which remains highly questionable and improbable
Range Launch Weather Launch Vehicle Constraints
That is unless something else like weather and tight launch window requirements prevents the launch. It was in fact learned on Monday June 19, that high altitude winds and cloudy rainy weather had apparently forced a hold in the launch attempt through most of Wednesday the June 21, 2006 . Subsequent reports have indicated that the bad weather may extend to the end of the week. This tends to suggest that the earliest opportunity for a launch is Thursday June 22, through the following weekend. By late on June 22, it was clear that the rainy season had moved in early and was expected to remain solid for over ten days with little let up expected. This brings into question whether this launch will take place any time soon because time would be needed for the ground systems to dry out. Also of interest would be the state of the tanker propellant through the middle of next month. This whole launch infrastructure will rapidly become a soggy mud strewn mess in short order unless the weather some how clears up soon with only occasional breaks in the clouds. This may force the political and program military and engineering leadership to scrub this launch until much later this year. In fact the launch was admitted to have been delayed several days due to the weather. Late on the evening of June 23, it was reported according to DoD military sources that weather conditions over the North Korean launch site were improving with the high altitude winds subsiding clearing the way for a possible launch over the weekend. By Saturday morning June 24, the forecast was for the weather to finally clear Saturday evening, North Korean time. This meant that the soonest the launch preparation activity could resume is some time on Sunday June 25, 2006 . No launch as expected took place on the June 25. However, the DPRK weather forecast continues to show inclement weather for the launch area for many days to come. It also must be assumed that several day of drying may be required in order to resume the testing preparation operations at the launch site. It became apparent on Monday June 26, that the weather over the launch site is forecast to finally become clear late Tuesday North Korean time with it being sunny on Wednesday and partly cloudy on Thursday of this week. Whether this will prove to be the launch window is anybodies guess assuming that the launch campaign has not been called off for other reasons. Although the weather is clear over the launch infrastructure on Wednesday June 28, North Korean time by Thursday afternoon the weather is expected to deter ate into showers through next weekend. Through Wednesday June 28, 2006 the weather over the launch site was clear with it being cloudy or partly cloudy on the June 29 but starting Friday June 30 wind and showers are predicted through Tuesday July 4th. No flight test is suggested to have occurred and the facility missile readiness status quo remains as it has been all week. Friday June 30, 2006 revealed that the launch site is expected to be clear and sunny on Sunday July 2, and partly cloudy Tuesday July 4 with it only being partly cloudy on the following Saturday and mostly cloudy the following Sunday with all other days bringing showers. The rainy season has definitely settled into the launch site region.
The early morning of July 5, 2006 had partly cloudy to clear skies during the launches which cleared further into the day. Previously the day of July 4, 2006 the weather was overcast as it was also on July 6, 2006 . No rain was indicated for the launch day and the winds were in the 4-11 kilometers per hour with seasonal temperatures. How good the North Korean range testing for winds aloft prior to the launch is unknown because this could have been a factor contributing to the launch failure.
This also says a lot about the operational constraints of the launch vehicle which appear to be much weaker than normal for “on demand launch requirements” regardless of the weather for strategic ballistic missiles. Further, strategic ballistic missiles normally use solid propellant but the Taep’o-dong-2C/3 is nearly all liquid propellant. This would beyond any reasonable doubt indicate a space booster satellite launch and not a strategic ballistic missile launch in the indirect sense. This is certainly no land based mobile or silo based strategic missile given that the launch facility is above ground and that the booster, characteristic of a satellite launch vehicle, is entirely too big to be made mobile.
More Propellant Loading Explanations
When the completion of the propellants loading operation is done this launch is essentially committed to flight for all practical purposes because reversing the operations to drain the tanks and lines and clean them of the very toxic corrosive propellants is a very dangerous arduous process. Exposing the booster tanks, propellant lines and engines to these propellants for long periods can be dangerously destructive unless the proper materials and seals are used extensively through out the systems. If the tanks were indeed loaded with propellants over the early weekend then the two day limit without stirring then has past with no launch expected on June 19th according to Japanese official’s reports. Subsequently no launch has occurred between the 20th, through the June 30. A simple process of running nitrogen and helium gases through from the base of the propellant tanks can in fact stir the propellants enough to both maintain the temperature and chemical make up for many month ultimately venting the gas out through the tank vents.
However, a Bush administration official has indicated that US intelligence was of the opinion that by Monday the 19th of June, the propellants had been fully loaded on the three-stage booster with some reports suggesting a June 20th Asian time launch attempt. Again, the launch expectations for the 20th have proven to be premature. If the propellant tanker trucks have now been moved from the launch pad area and parked else where in the total launch infrastructure then it can be assumed that the propellants have indeed probably been loaded into the booster. On the 20th, according to the Japanese and South Korean reports, the forty tankers had remained in place around the launch pad through the weekend and were still there on the 19th. This indicates the propellant loading of the launch vehicle has not been completed and has perhaps not even started since only the withdrawal of the tankers from the area would confirm that the launch vehicle is fully loaded to go or that dismantling operations were about to commence. Certainly by late on the 20th and the 21st, no dismantling operations had been reported and none have been observed through June 30, 2006.
Improbable Propellant Loading Operation
This brings into serious question whether the launch vehicle tanks were indeed fully loaded with propellants, if at all, in the early part of the weekend. The propellants are normally loaded with inhibitors and the exposed surfaces in the lines, tanks and pumps are also lined with protective coating that can last quite a while in a storage state. In point of fact the propellants could be loaded on board the missile and remain there for years. This then would seen to indicate just how advanced the North Korean propellant storage technologies are for this launch vehicle and its supporting infrastructure. At this juncture, there are clearly some unknowns on the fueling that only time will resolve the answers to through intelligence analysis sources and methods. Subsequently administration personnel have admitted on June 21, 2006 that the intelligence is inconclusive as to whether the North Korean military technicians have loaded any propellant into the launch vehicle. It could also indicate that the engineers and technicians are still running the electronic demonstration countdown and non destructive testing before a weather clearance is given to proceed with fuel loading operations. This would almost certainly be preceded by the political State Commission approving and clearing the launch preparation operations for the ultimate launch. Not until then would this mission become real. With the propellant tankers remaining in place can only mean no propellant has been loaded into the booster stages. This leaves the only certainty that the new three stage launch vehicle has been assembled on the pad and that testing appears as expected to be on going perhaps leading to a flight eventually with in the next few months.
President Bush in a White House, East room news conference with the out going Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi on June 29, said that “We both agree that it’s very important for us to remain united in sending a clear message to the North Korean leader, first of all, launching the missile is unacceptable. There have been no briefings as to what’s on top of the missile. They haven’t told anybody where the missile’s going. He has an obligation; it seems to me and the prime minister, that there be a full briefing to those of us who are concerned about it to see what his intentions are.” They were effectively requesting a full briefing by the North Koreans on their intentions.
This profound difference in the internationally accepted norms of conduct by the DPRK and the lack of reliable answers to two critical policy questions remains a serious issue to the world community and its leadership.
Tuesday June 27th brought initial news that there was evidence that the North Koreans had finished the propellant loading of the Taep’o-dong-2C/3 launch vehicle and by inference the tanker trucks had been removed from the pad area. This would prove later in the day to be totally wrong.
Later in the afternoon June 27, 2006 Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Senator John Warner, a Virginia Republican, discussed some aspects of the closed door classified and open source briefing the committee had just received from the Defense Intelligence Agency and the Missile Defense Agency. He stated that “The Satellite imagery would suggest that a North Korean missile launch does not appear to be imminent.” This would imply that certain critical steps leading to a launch had not been observed as having been completed yet and that the launch was deemed to be not immediately expected. He went on to further say that “There are certain steps that would have to be taken if it were to be launched imminently,". “Those steps have not yet taken place”. By example he stated, “You have got to remove certain infrastructure that is obviously in the pictures - which are public - before that missile can be launched. That takes time." He further reiterated that “It is unclear whether the launch vehicle had been fully fueled (if at all)”. This indicates at least through June 27, 2006 that the propellant tanker trucks have not been removed from the launch pad area and that the launch vehicles gantry umbilical tower retractable and movable by rotation service levels have not been folded back to reveal the full launch vehicle it final configuration in preparation for launch. Only when those tanker trucks and the service levels are moved will this launch appear to be imminent. Senator Warner further stated that “It is not clear what North Korea 's intentions are and that the North Koreans could be preparing to launch a satellite, a weather satellite or a dummy warhead to test the boosters”. The indication that the satellite could be a Weather related satellite in stead of a Communication satellite (COMSAT) is a new suggested on the potential payload for this booster. This was followed by his reiterating the comments of President Bush that North Korea must define what the payload is on top of the three stage launch vehicle as well as their intentions to the world. Although the weather is clear over the launch infrastructure on Wednesday June 28, 2006 North Korean time by Thursday afternoon the weather is expected to deteriorate into showers through next weekend.
On Monday June 26th President Bush reiterated in discussion with the Washington, White House Press Core in the Roosevelt room that “The North Koreans should notify the world of their intentions, and what they have on top of that vehicle” in addition to listening to warnings from the nations of the world, especially the Six-Party nations, not to test launch that launch vehicle. He reiterated that he did not know what was on top of the three stage launch vehicle.
Friday June 23rd, brought news that the US as well as South Korea had not monitored or observed any new launch preparation activity over the previous four days due to weather delays. However, both the US and South Korea continued to characterize what has been studied as indicating that a launch was anticipated at some point. Further, it was learned that the tanker trucks had still not been cleared away from the launch pad area. This strongly indicates that no propellant loading had yet taken place in spite of judgments to the contrary. Removal of all this equipment would have to happen before any launch could take place. Additionally, Chairman Kim Jong-Il of North Korea is expected to drag this mini satellite booster launch missile crisis out to milk it for what it is worth to his regime.
The US early on June 23rd, continued to characterize the North Korean preparation effort as “very serious” without being able to identify what the payload is under the nose cone so as to know what the DPRK intentions are and whether this is “just an exercise” that is ground missile systems integration and facilities systems test. The South Koreans have apparently had suggested to them indirectly by the DPRK that the “launch is a civilian experimental to put a satellite into orbit” but when would depend on when they are ready. South Korea ’s National Intelligence Service continues to indicate no detection of ongoing launch vehicle preparation as a result of continuing deteriorated weather condition over the launch infrastructure in the last five days. The hold-up has been due to both weather and payload servicing preparation which was apparently completed on the 19th. It should be remembered that world practices have been to do end-to-end systems testing before launching a new launch vehicle. This can go on for many months before a launch is made. Until that electronic demonstration countdown is successfully completed, this analyst would not expect the launch vehicle to be loaded with propellant. The expected possible orbital test launch of the Taep’o-dong-2C/3 was predicted for as early as Sunday or Monday Asian time May 18th or 19th, 2006 or during the following weeks according to published reports. The morning of the 19th of June 2006 shown no launch attempt and none is expected on the 19th or the 20th, 21st, 22nd, through 30th of June. The fact that no satellite launch took place on the 18th of June through the 30th of June 2006 according to reported Japanese officials’ remarks suggest both that the propellants have not been loaded or that some political policy or technical or weather or tight launch window-related constraints have interrupted the final launch operations for an unknown amount of time. At least one report on the 19th suggests a Wednesday afternoon June 21 daytime launch from North Korea Hamgyong province, Musudan-ri (No-dong-A/Taep’o-dong) launch site. Other subsequent reports on the 20th imply it was a few days to months away.
DPRK Policy Driver
Based on the observed trends, the North Korea regime is clearly determined to use its medium and long range strategic launch vehicles and the associated weapons systems they carry as an instrument of State Policy. This leaves little room to hope that North Korea ’s authoritarian leadership under Chairman Kim Jong-Il will change its end-game internal paranoid regime legitimization survival plans to suit the world’s desires. This says a very great deal about North Korean strategic and proliferation intentions. The world and especially Pacific Rim countries desire a more normal negotiated economic relationship done by international standards norms absent the threat of nukes and missiles activity. This single act of launching an ICBM as a space booster has certainly deeply isolate this prickly proud paranoid military hermit Stalinist kingdom country much further from the rest of the world. The international community has continued to warn the DPRK to avoid pursuing such a course of action. To date, it would appear that the DPRK is not listening and has paid little attention to such warnings. Chairman Kim Jong-Il's regime is attempting to force its agenda on the world through the creation of this second satellite booster launch crisis which is unlikely to be accepted by the world community. It must be understood that the only possible justification for this space booster is an ICBM with the capability for both North Korea and Iran to launch nuclear warheads at the United States . This is presumably because of its driving internal political issues. It is presumed that the North Korean military is pushing for this flight to orbit to take place in addition to potential Iranian customer financing contributor desires. North Korea suggested on June 18, 2006 that its people should raise the North Korean (DPRK) flag and stay tuned to their radio ’s and TV ’s for an announcement from the State media around 5:00 GMT perhaps related to the up coming launch vehicle flight. Ultimately nothing appeared that was directly associated with the expected attempted launch except for a message strongly reiterating North Korea's attempt to continue to emphasize its strategic nuclear deterrents as the limited backbone of State Policy.
DPRK State Policy
Then on June 20, 2006 North Korea restated its past policy statements that “North Korea as a sovereign State has the full autonomy right to develop, deploy, test fire and export its missiles” i.e. to conduct ballistic missile and space booster launches and tests and that other outsider nations have no right to criticize or, by inference, interfere with its plans. They reaffirmed the March 2005 statement with the statement that North Korea “was no longer bound by its self-imposed missile test moratorium since the US and the DPRK are no longer talking directly to one another”. North Korean then went on to suggest that if there are any issues with its policy, the US should seek to resolve them through direct talks on this and other strategic systems questions. For years now, the DPRK has attempted to avoid the six-nation-party talks on its nuclear programs in favor of direct talks with the US ; a position which the present US administration has consistently rejected.
What is interesting is the statement released by the DPRK on June 20, 2006 with North Korea espousing the Chinese space policy harangue of the “ US missile defense as fueling a dangerous arms race in space”. This whole drama for the West’s intelligence community and politician’s entertainment of the impending flight test and its forty tank trucks could draw out for weeks leading to no launch for quite a while. This would prolong the diplomatic horse trading on the missile flight testing and moratorium extension in addition to the nuclear program issues. Meanwhile the DPRK continues to press its policy agenda to no avail. This to a degree perhaps intentionally on North Korea ’s part taking the pressure off the Iranians to buy them time for a while. That also brings up the question of the role of Iran and China in the development of the Taep’o-dong-2 launch vehicle series. Iran certainly has a committed effort to this program for its own agenda.
North Korea Ongoing Defiance of the World
North Korea both confirmed and declared it would continue to carry out the missile flights tests. They reiterated their “sovereign countries rights” as noted above as State Policy and their right to run “regular military drills to strengthen its self-defense.” Just hours prior to the July 5, 2006 missile launches before the July 15, 2005 United Nations unanimous vote for the resolution to impose limited sanctions on North Korea it quietly put the nation, without announcing it, on a very high military alert status. The resolution demanded that the DPRK return to the missile test moratorium and suspend its missile programs and return to the six party nuclear talks in addition to forbidding it from selling or purchasing WMD missile technology. Parallel and follow up actions by Russia and China would tend to indicate that they have chosen sides perhaps marking a major transition in cooperation with the rest of the world. Subsequently North Korea in record time defiantly rejected the UN resolution and stated that it would carry out more missile flight tests. It went on further to state it would “take stronger physical actions” if their testing exercises were interfered with. More over it stated that it would “bolster its war deterrents for self-defense” in response to the UN sanctions which is commonly believed to refer to its nuclear capability. This was followed by a speech on July 26, 2006 before the ruling Army, Government and Communist party officials 53 rd anniversary meeting in which the DPRK, KPA, Vice Marshall defense minister of the PAF, Kim Il-Chol of the National Defense Commission is purported to have stated that North Korea would “deal deadly blows at the enemies’ moves for aggression with all-out-do-or-die resistance and unprecedented devastating strikes.” This perhaps suggests that the DPRK’s nuclear capability has been successfully adapted to its missiles which should be no surprise. It certainly shows how much the “military is the State and the State is the military” in the DPRK and nothing else gets done unless the military is doing it. Obviously this certainly smacks of the Cold War rhetoric that Kennedy and Khrushchev had started to back off to cool things down that could have lead to an earlier arms controls reductions.
This three stage launch vehicle test launch characteristics presumably will probably exhibit that it has the capability to travel between 8,000 and 12,000 kilometers with a 650 kilogram nuclear payload. If the payload was in the 250 kilogram range its capability would be somewhat short of 15,000 kilometer range but that is not expected for some years to go. North Korea as well as Iran is presumed to have both 1,000 kg and 650 kilogram first and second generation nuclear weapons designs one of which whose design apparently circumstantially may have been tested in Pakistan ’s second nuclear test. If there are any questions as to the viability of the mass reduced size of these first and second generation nuclear weapons and solid propellant missile technology one only needs to remind ones self that all of these technologies were transferred initially from China to A. Q. Khan of Pakistan who perfected them for Pakistan who in turn transferred the design secrets of the technology for the production of these weapons to the North Korean and Iran years ago. (32) http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/world/dprk/nuke-test.htm. The first Cold War lessons have taught us strategically speaking that to think that this is the probable reality. While Pakistan did get the liquid propellant missile technology from North Korea as did also Iran , the Solid Propellant missile technology came in via both China and South Africa to Pakistan and Iran . Whether North Korea is acquiring this Solid propellant rocket technology remains uncertain because it is in its early to very early stages of potential development.
A. The fifty and fifty two seconds reports is when the vehicle disappeared from electronic tracking even though it was still there is based in the early reports from CNN from Barbara Star as they came through in note form as the events unfolded.
B. It is apparent that something crashed into the Sea of Japan some 321.8 km from Japan or 499 km from the Taep’o-dong-2 class launch site based on Digital Chosun and CNN published reports. This could also be a false radar reflection system error based on US data.
C. The 35-42 seconds data as well as the point that “It fell in to the Sea of Japan before its first stage burned out.” comes from White House and Pentagon officials and US officials doing the tracking quoted in various publications.
1. http://asia.news.yahoo.com/060707/3/2mty8.html N. Korea Missile Aimed at Area off Hawaii – report TOKYO (Reuters)....... Friday July 7, 8:06 AM, “Wednesday's launch apparently failed shortly after take-off and the missile landed in the sea between the Korean peninsula and Japan, a few hundred kilometers from the launch pad” And, “But data from U.S. and Japanese Aegis radar-equipped destroyers and surveillance aircraft on the missile's angle of take-off and altitude indicated that it was heading for waters near Hawaii, the Sankei Shimbun reported, citing multiple sources in the United States and Japan.” …. And, “A separate report in the Mainichi Shimbun daily cited U.S. and Japanese government officials as saying a piece of the Taepodong-2 missile fell off immediately after take-off, strengthening the view that the launch was a failure”.
2. http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/library/news/dprk/2006/dprk-060704-whitehouse01.htm, White House press briefing transcript
3. http://english.chosun.com/w21data/html/news/200607/200607060027.html, Digital Chosen, N. Korea May Try Launching another Long-Range Missile, Chosun Ilbo, Updated July.6, 2006 20:34 KST
4. http://english.chosun.com/w21data/html/news/200607/200607070016.html, Second Long-Range Missile Launch not Imminent: Seoul , Chosun Ilbo, Updated July.7, 2006 20:36 KST
5. http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/library/news/dprk/2006/dprk-060705-voa10.htm, Rumsfeld: N. Korean Missiles Still Threat, But Not to US , By Al Pessin, Pentagon, Voice of America, 05 July 2006
6. http://www.menewsline.com/stories/2006/july/07_06_1.html, Iran Finances N Korea Missile Program, menewsline, July 7, 2006
7. North Korea Flatly Rejects Protests on Missile Firings by Norimitsu Onishi, The New York Times, July 7, 2006, Page A12,
8. Norimitsu Onishi And David E. Sanger / New York Times, TOKYO, N. Korea Missile Test Launches Political Tension; Communist nation fires six weapons in defiance of warnings from U.S., Japan, S. Korea and China, The New York Times, July 05, 2006,
9. CNN.com - Japan to take N. Korea launches to U.N. - Jul 5, 2006 ... Japan to take N . Korea launches to U. N ... TOKYO , Japan (CNN) -- Japan will protest North Korea 's missile test launches to the U. N. Security Council ...
www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/asiapcf/07/04/n korea .reax
10. CNN.com - North Korea test-fires 7th missile - Jul 5, 2006, North Korea test-fired a seventh missile Wednesday -- amid international furor over the regime's launch of six missiles just hours earlier. ... Japan to take N. Korea launches to U. N. ? NORAD steps up alert. ? N. Korea ... United States, Japan, South Korea and Australia ... urged North Korea to refrain from ...
www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/asiapcf/07/05/ korea .missile
11. CNN.com - NORAD monitors N. Korean missile launches - Jul 5, 2006, The North American Aerospace Defense Command monitored the launches of a series of missiles from North Korea Tuesday but soon determined they weren't a threat to the United States , a spokesman said. ... NORAD monitors N. Korean missile launches. RELATED. ? North Korea tests missiles ... immediately aware of six launches from North Korea ," said Michael Kucharek, a spokesman for NORAD ...
www.cnn.com/2006/US/07/05/ norad .alert.ap
12. http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/library/news/dprk/2006/dprk-060705-voa06.htm, Pentagon: North Korean Missiles Were Not Threat to US, By Al Pessin, Pentagon, Voice of America, 05 July 2006
13. Does North Korea 's Taepodong-2 Ballistic Missile Pose Serious Threat? http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/library/news/dprk/2006/dprk-060706-voa04.htm, By Andre de Nesnera , Washington , Voice of America, 06 July 2006
14. http://english.chosun.com/w21data/html/news/200607/200607060033.html, U.S. Thinks N. Korea Will Fire More Missiles, Chosun Ilbo, July 6, 2006
15. http://www.spacewars.com, Second Taepodong launch Not Imminent Say US Officials by Jim Mannion, Washington, (AFP), Spacewars, July 06, 2006 .
16. http://www.postindependent.com, Deb Riechmann, Associated Press writer, Washington , U.S. Calls North Korea missile launch ‘a provocation’, Post Independent, July 4, 2006
17. http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/holnus/003200607130901.htm, The Hindu news service, Japan Suspects Missiles Included Long-range Scuds, Tokyo , (AP), Hindu.com, July 13, 2006
18. http://www.menewsline.com/stories/2006/july/07_13_1.html, Iran Attends Taepo Dong-2 Launch, London [MENL], Menewsline.com, July 13, 2006
19. http://www.worldtribune.com/worldtribune/WTARC/2006/ea_nkorea_07_12.html, http://www.worldtribune.com/worldtribune/06/front2453929.001388889.html, Iran Military Engineers on Hand for N. Korea Missile Launch, London, WorldTribune.com, July 12, 2006
20. http://ww.east-asia-intel.com/eai/, North Korea used Chinese tracking system during missile test, Iranian technicians on hand for North Korean missile launches, East-Asia-Intel.com, July 13, 2006
21. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/13743714/print/1/displaymode/1098/, 2ND Long-Range Missile at N. Korea Launch Site?, NBC News and news services, July 7, 2006
22. http://english.chosun.com/cgi-bin/printNews?id=200607120018, N. Korea Has Eight Medium-Range Missile Pads:NIS, Chosun Ilbo, July 13, 2006 “The NIS chief was quoted as saying that a long-range Taepodong-2 missile North Korea test-fired on July 5 exploded some 40 seconds after launch, and debris was found in inland areas west of the launch site. Asked if the North is likely to test another, he said trailers carrying parts were spotted around the assembly and maintenance building at the Musudanri missile base in Taepodong, from where the first was launched, and support vehicles are constantly going in and out of the site. The NIS also says there are some 30 missile fuel storage tanks near the launch site but it cannot tell if they are new or empty. That could suggest plans for another test launch, but it is more likely that the North is trying to find out why the first missile failed, Kim was quoted as telling lawmakers.”
23. http://english.chosun.com/w21data/html/news/200607/200607180002.html, N. Korea May Have Tested New Longer-Range Missiles, Digital Chosun Ilbo , July.18, 2006 08:33 KST
24. U.S. Lists Companies Sanctioned under Iran Nonproliferation Act
Department of State Taken Questions Office of the Spokesman Washington, DC July 3, 2003 Taken Question from July 3, 2003 Daily Press Briefing Iran Nonproliferation Act Sanctions QUESTION: Were any of these companies (the six entities) ever before sanction
25. http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/library/news/dprk/2006/dprk-060720-voa01.htm, US Official Says Iranians Witnessed North Korean Missile Tests, By Deborah Tate, Washington , Voice of America, 20 July 2006
26. http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/library/news/dprk/2006/dprk-060519-voa01.htm, Japan , S. Korea Say No Sign of Missile Test by North Korea , By Steve Herman, Tokyo , Voice of America, 19 May 2006
27. Middle East Tension and Missile Sales, By Michael Richardson, Singapore , the Jakarta Post.com, July 25, 2006
28. http://www.spacewar.com/reports/North_Korean_Progress_Still_As_Elusive_As_Ever_999.html, North Korean Progress Still as Elusive as Ever, By Michael Mclaughlin, Correspondent, Washington (UPI), Jul 22, 2006
29. ＜ North Korea missile ＞ Japan and the United States Government Analysis
Work limped, By Furumoto Yoso, Mainichi Shimbun, July 26, 2006 , Web version.
30 . Private correspondence between C. P. Vick & Wayne Eleazer, Cape Canaveral , FL
Friday, July 28, 2006 , 3:57 PM , and Friday, July 28, 2006 8:42 PM , Subject: Re: Taepodong Launch.
31 . North Korea May Have Helped Iran Test Sea-Going Scud, By Andre Pachter, China Confidential, July 25, 2006
32. http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/?030127fa_fact , Hersh, Seymour M., The Cold Test, The New Yorker, Issue of 2003-01-27, Posted 2003-01-20
http://www.macon.com/mld/macon/news/world/15159650.htm , Taepodong Launch Now Seen as Technical Failure, The Yomiuri Shimbun, Tokyo , Ledger-Enquirer, July 30, 2006
34.http://mdn.mainichi-msn.co.jp/national/archive/news/2006/07/29/20060729p2a00m0na003000c.html , Japan Eases Guard Against N. Korean Missile Launches, MSN.News Mainichi, July 29, 2006
35. http://today.reuters.co.uk/news/newsArticle.aspx?type=topNews&storyID=2006-07-30T021338Z_01_T205874_RTRUKOC_0_UK-KOREA-NORTH-MISSILE.xml, N. Korean Missile broke up soon after launch-reports, Today Reuters, July 30, 2006
36. Taepodong Launch Believed Failure, The Yomiuru Shimbun, The Daily Yomiuri, July 30, 2006
37. http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20060730a1.html , N. Korean Missile Didn’t go as far as Japan estimated, The Japan Times, July 30, 2006
38. http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20060730a1.html, Pyongyang , Missile Didn’t Go As Far As Japan Estimated, By Komfie Manalo - All Headline News Foreign Correspondent, Japan Times, July 30, 2006
39. http://www.indiadaily.com/editorial/12216.asp , United States has told Japan that a long-range missile test-fired by North Korea this month exploded in mid-air just 1.5 kilometers from its launch site, Media Release, India Daily, July 30, 2006
40. http://www.thepeninsulaqatar.com/Display_news.asp?section=World_News&subsection=Rest+of+the+ World&month=July2006&file=World_News2006073141611.xml , N. Korea’s missile test a “complete failure”: Japan, AFP, July 31, 2006
41. http://www.kentucky.com/mld/kentucky/news/world/15159650.htm, Taepodong launch now seen as technical failure, The Yomiuri Shimbun, Tokyo , (MCT), Posted on Sun, July 30, 2006
42. http://english.donga.com/srv/service.php3?bicode=060000&biid=2006073166428 , Japan Media Revels over Failed ICBM, Donga.com, July 31, 2006
43. http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/20060731TDY03003.htm , Better spy satellite system needed / Reliance on U.S. intelligence on missile launch shows need for improvement, Tetsuo Hidaka and Koichi Yasuda / Yomiuri Shimbun Staff Writers, July 31, 2006
44. http://times.hankooki.com/lpage/nation/200607/kt2006073119373211990.htm , “Taepodong Missile Exploded in Mid air”, The Korea Times, July 31, 2006
45. http://english.chosun.com/w21data/html/news/200607/200607050025.html, N. Korea ’s Missiles Right on Target, The Chosun Ilbo, July 5, 2006
46. Private correspondence between C. P. Vick and Tanaka Akishige, Japan, July 22-Aug. 12, 2006
47. http://www.koreaherald.co.kr/SITE/data/html_dir/2006/08/04/200608040031.asp, N. K. Iran collaborating on missile, think tank reports, Korean Herald, Aug, 4, 2006
48. http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/Engnews/20060803/430100000020060803111232E8.html, N. Korea building new missile bases, silos along east coast: Report, Yonhap News, Aug. 3, 2006
49 . "North Korean Ballistic Missile Threat to the United States ," Congressional Research Sservice, updated July 6, 2006:http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/nuke/RS21473.pdf
50. http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,20015689-5003402,00.html, N Korea Moves missile, report says, Courier Mail, August 4, 2006
51.http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/world/20060806TDY01005.htm , DPRK Scud, Rodong tests 'successful', The Yomiuri Shimbun-Daily Yomiuri online- The daily Yomiuri , August 6, 2006
52. http://www.menewsline.com/stories/2006/august/08_06_3.html, Iran , N. Korea Develop Long-Range Missiles, Menewsline, Aug. 6, 2006
53. http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1679152/posts, U.S. Reluctant to Fully Share N. Korean Missile Launch Intelligence with Japan, Shin Jihong, Yonhap News, 08/07/06
54. Richelson, Jeffrey T, The Wizards of Langley, Westview Press, 2001, False Start, PP. 49-51
55. http://www.worldtribune.com/worldtribune/WTARC/2006/ea_china_07_20.html, Missile Tests Provide “Windfall of Intelligence” to China’s PLA, Special to World Tribune.com, East-Asia-Intel.com, July 20, 2006, which leads to http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=15963, North Korean Test Was Intel Windfall for Red China by Ed Timperlake, July 10, 2006
56. http://english.hani.co.kr/popups/print.hani?ksn=157978 , N. K. missile launch officially declared failure, The Honkyoreh, September 18, 2006 .
57. http://times.hankooki.com/service/print/Print.php?po=times.hankooki.com/lpage/200609/k..., Seoul Confirms Failure of Taep’o-dong-2 missile test by Jung Sung-ki, Staff Reporter, The Korean Times, September 17, 2006 .
58. Japanese Defense Agency, Director Nukaga Fukushino press news conference, September 15, 2006 , http://www.jda.go.jp/j/kisha/2006/09/15.html
59. http://www.menewsline.com/stories/2006/september/09_20_1.html, N. Korea Said To Fail In Taepo-2 Test, London, Middle East Newsline, Sept 20, 2006.
60. http://www.menewsline.com/stories/2006/october/10_15_1.html, N. Korea Tested C2 System for Iran , Middle East Newsline, October 15, 2006 .
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