Taepo-Dong 1 & 2

During the last several years, North Korea has made substantial progress with its ballistic missile forces in the areas of research and development, testing, deployment, and, most worrisome, exports. Despite efforts on the part of the United States and its East Asian allies to constrain North Korea's missile development, Pyongyang continues to move ahead.

In August 1998, North Korea launched a three-stage Taepo Dong 1 system, which it characterized as a space launch vehicle (SLV) attempting to orbit a small satellite. The launch demonstrated several of the key technologies required to develop an ICBM, including stage separation. The existence of a third stage itself was an unanticipated development in the North Korean ballistic missile program. With the Taepo Dong 1, North Korea has now demonstrated the capability to reach the entire territory of South Korea and Japan, as well as large portions of China and Russia. Potentially, a three-stage Taepo Dong 1 SLV could deliver a light payload to the United States, although with very poor accuracy.

North Korea is developing the Taepo Dong 2 (ICBM), which could deliver a several-hundred kilogram pay-load to Alaska or Hawaii, and a lighter payload to the western half of the United States.

The Center for Strategic & International Studies,Weapons of Mass Destruction in Asia: A Quantitative and Arms Control Analysis


Taepo-Dong 1 Taepo-Dong 2
Height 82.5 feet 115 feet
Launch Weight 59,400 lbs 172,000 lbs
Payload Single warhead 450 lbs Single warhead 2,000 lbs
Warhead Unknown, nuclear? Unknown, nuclear?
Guidance Inertia Inertia
Propulsion 2-stage liquid fueled 2-stage liquid fueled
Range 1,250 miles 3,730 miles
Accuracy Unknown Unknown
  • Mission: Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile
  • Development-Country-Name: North Korea
  • Deployment-Country-Name: Not deployed
  • Development Year: 1994?
  • Deployment Year: 2000?(Taepo-Dong 1), 2004-2006(Taepo-Dong 2)

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