SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea appears to be preparing to test-launch its longest range ballistic missile, media reported on Tuesday, just days after Pyongyang warned the Korean peninsula was on the brink of war.
Here is a look at the North’s missile program:
North Korea has more than 800 ballistic missiles. It has more than 1,000 missiles of various ranges in total and has sold missiles and technology overseas, with Iran being one of the large purchasers.
It has more than 600 Scud missiles of various types and 200 Rodong missiles.
The Scud-type missiles include the Hwasong-5, with a range of about 300 km (190 miles) and the Hwasong-6, with a range of about 500 km.
The Rodong has an estimated range of 1,000 to 1,400 km. This missile can hit all of South Korea and most of Japan.
The Taepodong-1 is a multi-stage missile with an estimated range of about 2,000 km to 2,500 km. It uses liquid fuel. This missile was shot over Japan in 1998.
The Taepodong-2 was test-launched in July 2006 and flew for about 40 seconds before it destructed, U.S. officials said. South Korea said the launch was a failure, which would indicate troubles with the technology.
The Taepodong-2 is a multi-stage missile under development with a possible range of 3,500 km to 4,300 km. The range could extend from 5,000 km to 7,000 km, or even longer depending on North Korea’s engine technologies and payload, experts have said.
The Taepodong-X is a solid fuel missile under development with an estimated range of 2,500 km to 4,000 km and could reach U.S. military bases in Japan and Guam.
North Korea does not have an operational missile that can hit the continental United States, many experts have said.
ACCURACY AND PAYLOAD
Most analysts agree North Korea is some time away from building a nuclear warhead small enough to fit on a missile. The accuracy of the mid- to long-range missiles was also suspect.
(Sources: Center for Nonproliferation Studies, South Korean Defense Ministry, Rand, National Air and Space Intelligence Center)
Reporting by Jon Herskovitz and Jack Kim; Editing by Bill Tarrant
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