Taepodong 1

Taepodong 1 is a three-stage intermediate range ballistic missile (IRBM) developed in North Korea and currently in service there, since 2000. The missile was derived originally from the Soviet designed Scud missile and possibly can serve as a nuclear delivery system. Some American intelligence sources suggest the missile is not being used as weapons system at this time.

Taepodong 1
Class Missile
Type Surface to Surface
Manufacturer Kanggye No.26 General Plant
Origin North Korea
Country Name Origin Year
North Korea 2000
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
North Korea 2000 View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Kanggye No.26 General Plant 1988 View

On August 31, 1998, it was announced by the North Koreans that they had used this rocket to launch their first satellite Kwangmyongsong-1 from a pad on the Musudan-ri peninsula. However, the satellite failed to achieve orbit; outside observers conjecture that the additional third stage either failed to fire or malfunctioned. This is contrary to official statements of the North Korean state media, which stated that the satellite achieved orbit about 5 minutes after launch. On this single launch, the main two-stage booster flew for 1,646 km without any significant problems.

According to post-launch analysis of the launch vehicle, debris from the third stage fell as far as 4,000 kilometers from the launch pad. Some analysts believe that a three-stage space booster variant of the Taepodong-1 could be capable of travelling as far as 5,900 kilometers with a very small payload.

In 2003 the US Defense Intelligence Agency reported to the Congress that, "We have no information to suggest Pyongyang intends to deploy the Taepo Dong 1 (TD-1) as a surface-to-surface missile in North Korea. We believe instead that the vehicle was a test bed for multi-stage missile technologies." In 2009 the US National Air and Space Intelligence Center assessed that the Taepodong-1 was a technology demonstrator, a development step toward longer-range missile development.

General Information
Developed by North Korea
Deployed by North Korea (Iran, Pakistan?)
Development Year 1988
Deployment Year 2000
Launcher Underground Silo?
Design The 2nd Natural Science Academy
Manufacturer No.26 General Plant

Dimensions and Performance
Length 25.5m
Body Diameter 1.32m(1st-stage), 0.884m(2nd-stage)
Launch Weight 20,700kg
Range 2,500km
Accuracy 3,000m CEP

Propulsion 2-stage liquid propellant
Engine 1st-stage:NoDong, 2nd-stage Scud C or modified M-11(Chinese built)
Payload Single warhead 1,000kg/1,500kg
Warhead Nuclear,biological,chemical or HE
Guidance Inertial

End notes