1970s - 2017: A timeline of North Korea's missile development

1970s - 2017: A timeline of North Korea's missile development

Here are the key dates in Pyongyang’s quest to develop a missile capable of hitting the United States


Development of North Korean missiles began with current leader Kim Jong-un's grandfather in the 70s.
Photo: Associated Press

Late 1970s:

North Korea starts working on a version of the Soviet Scud-B (range 300 kilometres). Test-fired in 1984


Begins developing variant of Scud-C (range 500 km), Rodong-1 (1,300 km), Taepodong-1 (2,500 km), Musudan-1 (3,000 km) and Taepodong-2 (6,700 km)

Aug 1998:

Test-fires Taepodong-1 rocket over Japan in what it calls a satellite launch -- the US and others say it is a missile

Sept 1999:

Declares moratorium on long-range missile tests amid improving ties with US

July 12, 2000:

Fifth round of US-North Korean missile talks ends without agreement after North demands US$1 billion a year in return for halting missile exports

March 3, 2005:

Pyongyang ends moratorium on long-range missile testing, blames Bush administration’s “hostile” policy

North Korea shoots missile over Japan

July 5, 2006:

Test-fires seven missiles, including a long-range Taepodong-2 which explodes after 40 seconds

Oct 9, 2006:

Conducts underground nuclear test, its first

April 5, 2009:

Launches long-range rocket which flies over Japan and lands in the Pacific, in what it says is an attempt to put a satellite into orbit. The United States, Japan and South Korea see it as a disguised test of a Taepodong-2

May 25, 2009:

Conducts its second underground nuclear test, several times more powerful than the first

April 13, 2012:

Launches what it has said is a long-range rocket to put a satellite into orbit, but which disintegrates soon after blast-off

December 12, 2012:

Launches a multi-stage rocket and successfully places an Earth observational satellite in orbit

February 12, 2013:

Conducts its third underground nuclear test

Japan wakes up to North Korean missile warnings

January 6, 2016:

Conducts its fourth underground nuclear test, which it says was a hydrogen bomb, a claim doubted by most experts

March 9, 2016:

Kim Jong-Un claims the North has successfully miniaturised a thermo-nuclear warhead

April 23, 2016:

Pyongyang test-fires a submarine-launched ballistic missile

July 8, 2016:

US and South Korea announce plans to deploy an advanced missile defence system - THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense)

August 3, 2016:

North Korea fires a ballistic missile directly into Japan’s maritime economic zone for the first time

September 9, 2016:

Conducts fifth nuclear test

March 6, 2017:

Fires four ballistic missiles in what it says is an exercise to hit US bases in Japan

North Korea's past bluster and actual attacks

March 7, 2017:

US begins deploying THAAD missile defence system in South Korea

May 14, 2017:

North Korea fires a ballistic missile which flies 700 kilometres before landing in the Sea of Japan. Analysts say it has an estimated range of 4,500 kilometres and brings Guam within reach

July 4, 2017:

Test-fires a ballistic missile that analysts say brings Alaska within reach. Pyongyang later says it was a “landmark” test of a Hwasong-14 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM)

July 28, 2017:

Launches a missile with a theoretical range of 10,000 kilometres, meaning it could hit much of the United States

August 26, 2017:

Fires three short-range ballistic missiles

Aug 29, 2017

North Korea fires an intermediate range Hwasong-12 missile over northern Japan, prompting warnings to residents to take cover. The missile falls into the Pacific Ocean, but sharply raises tensions in the region.

Sept 3, 2017

North Korea conducts is 6th and most powerful nuclear test which experts think may have been 17 times stronger than the nuclear bomb that hit Hiroshima at the end of the second world war.

Sept 11, 2017

UN votes in favour of more sanctions on North Korea. US President Donald J Trump remarks they are a "very small step" and "nothing to what ultimately will have to happen".

Sept 14, 2017

North Korea threatens to "sink" Japan and turn the US to "ashes and darkness".

Sept 15, 2017

North Korea fires a missile at 6.57am over Hokkaido, Japan, that travels 3,700km, proving that on a different trajectory it could have reached the US territory of Guam.


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