Archived Material

This page is no longer being reviewed/updated.
ARCHIVED MATERIALThis page is no longer being reviewed/updated.

North Korea's Ballistic Missile Program

CNS Resources on North Korea's Ballistic Missile Program

Chronology of North Korea's Missile Trade and Developments: 1994-1995

Map | Factsheet | Overview | Chronology | Abstracts | Links

4 January 1994

CIA director James Woolsey states that North Korea would probably resort to its MiG-23 aircraft as a nuclear weapon delivery system, rather than the Nodong-1 missile.

Snark (Armenia), 24 January 1994; in Russia/CIS Intelligence Report, 25 January 1994.

4 January 1994

The Israeli daily Ha'aretz reports that North Korea has indefinitely postponed the sale of Nodong IRBMs to Iran.

Ha'aretz (Tel Aviv), 4 January 1994, p.1.

12 January 1994

North Korea's Korea Central News Agency (KCNA) reports that Commander Cho Myong-rok is leading a delegation on a visit to Iran.

KBS-1 Radio Network (Seoul), 24 February 1994; in JPRS-TND-94-007, 23 March 1994, pp.27-28.

14 January 1994

Japanese police raid Anritsu Corp., Yokohama Machinery Trading Co., and one other Japanese company on suspicion of having sold spectrum analyzers to North Korea via China in 1989. The spectrum analyzers could be used to improve the precision of missile targeting and the accuracy of the Nodong-1. KCNA denies allegations that North Korea had imported spectrum analyzers from Japan, stating, "[T]he so-called export of a spectrum analyzer is an utterly groundless fabrication against the DPRK." KCNA adds that it was impossible that spectrum analyzers were imported via a third country, and "preposterous" that it might be used in a the development of a ballistic missile.

Terry McCarthy, Independent (London), 15 January 1994. International Herald Tribune, 20 January 1994. BMD Monitor, 28 January 1994, p.40.

16 January 1994

The Japanese newspaper Tokyo Shimbun cites a Russian Pacific Fleet senior officer as saying that Russia has contracted with North Korea for the sale of 10 Golf II-class submarines.

Yonhap (Seoul), 18 January 1994; in JPRS-TND-94-003, 31 January 1994, pp.45-46.

17 January 1994

The Russian Defense Ministry denies the Tokyo Shimbun report regarding the Golf II-class submarine sale to North Korea and refuses to comment on the type of submarines involved or conditions of the contract. However, the Russian foreign ministry acknowledges the deal to South Korean embassy officials in Moscow with the assurance that the submarines are being sold for scrap only.

Yonhap (Seoul), 18 January 1994; in JPRS-TND-94-003, 31 January 1994, pp.45-46.

18 January 1994

Western defense analysts in Moscow say that Russia is selling 10 ballistic missile-capable Golf II-class submarines to North Korea. The analysts maintain that North Korea could install modified Nodong-1 missiles on the submarines. Although the Russian Navy insists that the submarines will be dismantled under Russian military observation, Western analysts believe that North Korea may cannibalize the submarines for parts and that knowledge of these submarines will help it to improve its own submarine technology.

Yonhap (Seoul), 18 January 1994; in JPRS-TND-94-003, 31 January 1994, pp.45-46.

(Note: The concern that North Korea might use the submarines as a launch platform for its ballistic missiles is not as farfetched as it may at first appear. The first Soviet submarine launched ballistic missile (SLBM), the SS-N-4 Sark, was a Scud derivative, and was originally deployed on Golf-class submarines. A Scud-C may be adaptable to an SLBM role, but, at 15.5 meters in length, the Nodong-1 is one meter longer than the SS-N-4 and would not fit in a Golf launch tube without modification. The modification referred to may be a shortening of the missile, which would also shorten the range of the missile. It is not unreasonable to assume that North Korea may have had access to SLBM technology as the precursor to the SS-N-4, the R-11FM, was transferred to China in December 1959. China still uses the Golf-class submarine as an SLBM training and test platform. Additionally, it should be noted that the Russian scientists recruited in late 1992 were from the Makeyev Design Bureau, which is responsible for the design of all modern Russian SLBMs.)

28 January 1994

The South Korean daily Hanguk Ilbo reports that North Korea possesses 12 to 18 Nodong-1 missiles, and is developing the Nodong-2.

Yi Sang-won, Hanguk Ilbo (Seoul), 28 January 1994, p.5; in JPRS-TND-94-005, 25 February 1994, p.42.

28 January 1994

Colonel General Mikhail Kolesnikov, Chief of the Russian General Staff, denies allegations made in January 1994 by the Japanese weekly Shukan Bunshun regarding an alleged top secret Russian report. He says that the report's alleged issuing authority, the Center for Military Strategic Analysis at the Russian General Staff, does not exist, although the General Staff does have a "center for military strategic studies." Kolesnikov lists further discrepancies within the report, including the form used, the index number cited, the incorrect placement and terminology of the security classification, and, finally, the use of a serial number originating with the USSR Council of Ministers (a numbering system not used since 1991) rather than one used by the Ministry of Defense.

Radio Moscow, 29 January 1994; in FBIS-SOV-94-020, 31 January 1994, p.15. Pavel Felgengauer, Segodnya (Moscow), 29 January 1994, p.1; in FBIS-SOV-94-020, 31 January 1994, pp.15-16. Viktor Litovkin, Izvestiya (Moscow), 29 January 1994, p.3; in FBIS-SOV-94-020, 31 January 1994, pp.16-17. RFE/RL News Briefs, 31 January 1994, p.2.

February 1994

North Korean Air Force Commander General Cho Myong-rok, heading a 29-member delegation of military and nuclear experts, returns from Iran, where, according to the Paris-based Al-Watan Al-Arabi, "new agreements to intensify military and nuclear cooperation" were reached. Western and Arab diplomatic sources believe that the testing of the Nodong-2 in Iran was also discussed, and that the delegation visited the Iranian missile test site at Sharoud.

KBS-1 Radio Network (Seoul), 24 February 1994; in JPRS-TND-94-007, 23 March 1994, pp.27-28. Washington Times, 25 February 1994.

February 1994

US intelligence satellites detect a new "missile simulator" [hardware mock-up] at Sanum Dong R&D facility, Pyongyang. The mock-up has been designated Taepodong-2, and appears to be a two stage missile with the first stage resembling the Chinese CSS-2. The dimensions of Taepodong-2 indicate that its range could be as great as 3,500km. Also spotted was a second two-stage missile that has been designated Taepodong-1, which is believed to have a Nodong-1 first stage and a Scud-B or -C second stage. South Korean and US intelligence officials believe that, considering the missile's potential range, Taepodong-1 may be Nodong-2. The majority view among analysts at the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and CIA is that the missiles have been developed indigenously; a minority within the DIA contends that China may have assisted in the development of the missiles. The two missiles are named after the location of their development in North Korea.

Barbara Starr, Jane's Defence Weekly, 12 March 1994, p.1. R. Jeffrey Smith, Washington Post, 18 March 1994, p.A24. Yu Yong-won, Choson Ilbo (Seoul), 20 March 1994, p.4; in JPRS-TND-94-008, 1 April 1994, pp.12-13.

February 1994

North Korea conducts a static test of a liquid-fuel engine at Taepodong, the location of North Korea's largest missile engine test facility.

Barbara Starr, Jane's Defence Weekly, 25 June 1994, p.10.

2 February 1994

The Japanese daily, Tokyo Shimbun, reports that Russia, under pressure from the international community, has halted the delivery of decommissioned Russian submarines to North Korea.

Yi Sok-ku, Chungang Ilbo (Seoul), 3 February 1994, p.6; in JPRS-TND-94-005, 25 February 1994, p.51.

14 February 1994

Vladimir Kumachev, a senior official of Russia's Institute of National Security and Strategy, states that "according to information that we have received, North Korea has nuclear warheads." Kumachev adds, "We know they have carried out tests in certain African countries under totalitarian regimes." He maintains that Russia still has approximately 15 experts in North Korea working in the civil nuclear industry. According to Kumachev, in the late 1970s, the Soviet Union sent 10 conventional missiles to North Korea, and that additional shipments were sent via third parties such as Iraq.

AFP (Paris), 14 February 1994; in JPRS-TND-94-006, 16 March 1994, p.11-12.

24 February 1994

IRGC commander General Mohsen Rezai denies that Iran would ever allow North Korea to test missiles on Iranian territory. He states, "We are very sensitive to having our soil and military facilities used by foreigners. Iran will never opt for such cooperation no matter how friendly the countries are."

AFP (Paris), 24 February 1994; in JPRS-TND-94-007, 23 March 1994, p.28.

Early March 1994

Israeli diplomats meet with senior North Korean representatives in Beijing to conduct secret talks aimed at halting the export of North Korea's Nodong missiles to Iran. The talks are being held against the wishes of the United States, which is engaged in its own diplomatic efforts to halt the sale.

Udi Segal, IDF Radio (Tel Aviv), 22 March 1994; in JPRS-TND-94-008, 1 April 1994, p.34.

March 1994

Pentagon spokeswoman Kathleen de Laski, commenting on reports of North Korea's development of the Taepodong-1 and -2 two-stage missiles, states, "We have been aware that North Korea has been developing a follow-on missile to its

Scud program," but it is "too early to speculate on when or if it could become operational." She refers to Taepodong as "a weapon of the future."

Barbara Starr, Jane's Defence Weekly, 19 March 1994, p.18.

March 1994

Henry Sokolski, a nonproliferation specialist and former Bush administration Pentagon official, states, "A staged missile is a more ambitious proposition than anything North Korea has attempted so far." He outlines some of the difficulties inherent in missile staging, including engines with greater thrust to weight ratios, high speed turbo pumps to feed clustered engines, sequencing system for stage separation, staging mechanism, airframe design, an advanced digital guidance system, and a reentry vehicle.

Barbara Starr, Jane's Defence Weekly, 19 March 1994, p.18.

March 1994

Russia expels five North Korean nationals from Moscow for "showing too much interest in nuclear components."

Warren Strobel, Washington Times, 5 July 1994, pp.A1, A8.

9 March 1994

US officials confirm that North Korea is building two new medium-range missiles: Taepodong-1 (1,000+ mile range) and Taepodong-2 (2,000+ mile range).

R. Jeffrey Smith, Washington Post, 10 March 1994, p.A34.

17 March 1994

CIA Director R. James Woolsey confirms the existence of North Korea's Taepodong-1 and Taepodong-2 IRBMs in a speech given at a CIA conference discussing the origins of the agency. Woolsey comments, "These new missiles have yet to be flown, and we will monitor their development, including any attempts to export them in the future to countries such as Iran." He remarks that these missiles could threaten major portions of East Asia and the Western Pacific, "and if exported to the Middle East, could threaten Europe as well."

R. Jeffrey Smith, Washington Post, 18 March 1994, p.A24. Bill Gertz, Washington Times, 19 March 1994, p.A3.

17 March 1994

A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman states, "The report of the Wall Street Journal that China had possibly provided advanced missile technology to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea is totally groundless."

Wall Street Journal, 18 March 1994, p.A11.

21 March 1994

According to Pentagon officials, a deployment order is signed directing the movement of up to six Patriot missile batteries from Ft. Bliss, Texas, to South Korea as a defense against North Korean ballistic missiles. The missiles are to be moved by sea from a US west coast port.

Bill Gertz, Washington Times, 23 March 1994, p.A4.

22 March 1994

An Israeli foreign ministry spokesman denies reports that Israel is engaged in secret talks with North Korea concerning missile sales to Iran.

IDF Radio (Tel Aviv), 22 March 1994; in JPRS-TND-94-008, 1 April 1994, p.34.

24 March 1994

The North Korean daily Minju Joson denounces the US decision to deploy Patriot missiles in South Korea and the resumption of joint military exercises as being "virtually a declaration of total confrontation and declaration of war against the North."

Lee Su-wan, Reuters, 24 March 1994.

28 March 1994

North Korea's foreign ministry states, "It is known to everyone that its [the Patriot missile's] target can be changed by the kind of warhead it is tipped with." North Korea claims that the Patriot missile can be modified to be an offensive weapon.

Reuters, 28 March 1994.

30 March 1994

The Russian Federal Counterintelligence Service (FSK) detains three North Korean embassy employees for attempting to acquire samples of new Russian weaponry.

NTV (Tokyo), 31 March 1994; in FBIS-SOV-94-063, 1 April 1994, pp.10-11.

31 March 1994

The Russian weekly Moscow News reports on an interview with Russian missile experts Yuriy Besarabov and Vladimir Yusachev, both of whom were among the Russian specialists who tried to emigrate to North Korea to work on the missile program there. Besarabov and Yusachev state that the original contacts to the specialists were made through their places of employment, the Isayev and Makayev design bureaus, and that Russian scientists who are currently in North Korea may have left Russia with official permission.

Chang Haeng-hun, Tong-a Ilbo (Seoul), 1 April 1994, p.1; in FBIS-EAS-94-061, 1 April 1994, pp.16-17.

April 1994

Kim Il-sung cancels a May 1994 meeting in Beijing with Chinese President Jiang Zemin designed to improve relations between the two countries. The cancellation is seen as a sign of North Korea's displeasure with China's lack of support in the UN regarding nuclear inspections.

Bruce Cheesman, Times, 8 April 1994.

April 1994

The Japanese Ministry of Foreign Trade and Industry [MITI] requests that Russia send a special representative to North Korea to monitor the scrapping of decommissioned Russian submarines. The Japanese government threatens to block the deal, which was arranged by the Japanese trading company Toen Shioji, if North Korea does not allow Russian monitoring. The 12 Russian submarines in question are reportedly rust-eaten and semi-submerged.

Vasiliy Golvnin, Itar-Tass, 27 April 1994; in FBIS-SOV-94-082, 28 April 1994, p.23.

6 April 1994

North Korea's ambassador to India, Cha Song-ju, tells the Yonhap news agency that, "Our nuclear arms, if developed, would be primarily designed to contain Japan." Cha also says that North Korea would not target South Korea or mainland United States with any future nuclear missiles, and repeats North Korea's assertion that it will not build such weapons. Japanese military commentator Kensuke Ebata notes, however, that, "The first obvious target for these missiles [Nodong-1] are the US bases in Japan... Such an attack would serve two purposes: to take out their primary enemy forces in a preemptive strike and serve a warning to Japan."

John Burton, Financial Times, 7 April 1994, pp.1, 14. International Herald Tribune, 8 April 1994.

7 April 1994

South Korea's cabinet forms a crisis unit to deal with the nuclear threat posed by North Korea.

Bruce Cheesman, Times, 8 April 1994.

7 April 1994

The Japanese daily Sankei Shimbun, citing South Korean sources, reports that North Korea has targeted some of its SSMs at China. The South Korean sources, which allegedly received the information from Chinese intelligence, claim that Scud-C missiles launched from several North Korean missile sites could strike industrial centers in the northeastern China.

International Herald Tribune, 8 April 1994.

11 April 1994

Paul Beaver, publisher of Jane's Defence Weekly, in an interview for a Japanese feature television program entitled "Areas of Dispute in the World," reveals that North Korea and Iran have agreed to establish a Nodong-1 missile production facility in Iran under the code name "Ronda-68."

Yu Ki-yun, KBS-1 Radio Network (Seoul), 11 April 1994; in JPRS-TND-94-010, 5 May 1994, p.47.

(Note: The "Ronda-68" project referred to is probably the Tondar-68 project)

27 April 1994

The Israeli Home Front Commander Major General Ze'ev Livne states that Syria is continuing to acquire "Scud" missiles and launchers from North Korea. He further notes that missiles launched from Iran would pose a more difficult operational dilemma for the Home Front Command.

Qol Yisra'el (Jerusalem), 27 April 1994; in FBIS-NES-94-082, 28 April 1994, p.41.

28 April 1994

KPA Sgt. Lee Chung-guk, who defected to South Korea on 18 March 1994, states in a news conference that North Korea has the technology to mount chemical, but not nuclear, warheads on Scud missiles, and further states that "Missile bases located in Myongch'on and Hwadae of North Hamgyong Province have Okinawa and Guam within its [sic] shooting range." Lee also states that missiles based in Chagang Province are targeted at China. Lee served as a "calculator" at the "Counter-nuclear and Atomic Analysis Center" of the Nuclear and Chemical Defense Bureau of the KPA General Staff.

Yonhap (Seoul), 22 March 1994; in JPRS-TND-94-008, 1 April 1994, p.13. Washington Times, 29 April 1994, p.A15.

Early May 1994

US intelligence imaging detects North Korean efforts to conceal the Taepodong-1 and -2 mock-ups at the Sanumdong missile R&D facility.

Barbara Starr, Jane's Defence Weekly, 25 June 1994, p.10.

May 1994

A US reconnaissance satellite notes movement of containers to a missile test site on North Korea's east coast. The satellite also detects the installation of a launcher and the erection of a "giant shelter pad against propellant jets," as well as significant North Korean naval activity.

Shunjun Taoka, Aera, 13 June 1994; in FBIS-EAS-94-111-A, 13 June 1994, p.17.

(Note: At this time, North Korea appears to be preparing for two separate missile tests: a static test-firing of the Taepodong-2 first stage and a test-launch of Nodong-1. The "giant shelter pad" may be an indication of a static test, while the TEL sightings and naval activity are possible signs of a test-launch)

2 May 1994

North Korea's security force captain, Yo Man-chol, who defected to South Korea in March 1994, states that he had heard of test firing of multi-stage missiles in North Hamgyong Province.

Teresa Watanabe, Los Angeles Times, 3 May 1994, p.A6.

7 May 1994

According to a Jane's Defence Weekly report, US intelligence officials believe that North Korea's Taepodong-1 and Taepodong-2 missiles are too large to be transported by missile launchers available to North Korea. North Korea is believed to have two transporters of sufficient size to carry the missiles in sections, but this method of transport would necessitate reassembly and launch of the missile from a fixed launch site.

Jane's Defence Weekly, 7 May 1994, p.1.

13 May 1994

An official at the Russian Defense Ministry states that the Ministry has made several requests to North Korea for a Russian expert to be present at the dismantlement of decommissioned Russian submarines, but North Korea has not yet assented. Western sources in South Korea say that "as they [North Koreans] reject a Russian expert's presence, there is the strong possibility that they may recycle the submarine for military purpose[s]."

Yonhap (Seoul), 13 May 1994; in FBIS-SOV-94-093, 13 May 1994, p.17.

21 May 1994

According to an unidentified military source in Tokyo cited by the Japanese daily Yomiuri Shimbun, a US reconnaissance satellite observes "crane trucks" at a North Korean missile base and monitoring vessels assembling at a port on the Sea of Japan.

Reuters, 28 May 1994.

(Note: The crane trucks may be for loading missiles onto TELs preparatory to a test-firing. The port mentioned is possibly Ch'ongjin, which is located just south of the missile development sites at Nodong and Taepodong)

23 May 1994

Former Royal Navy Captain Richard Sharpe, editor of Jane's Fighting Ships, indicates that the launch tubes on the Golf-class submarines purchased by North Korea from Russia could be adapted for other weapons. The Golf submarines were decommissioned by the Russian Navy in 1990.

Richard Sharpe, Jane's Fighting Ships 1994-95, (Jane's Information Group, Coulsdon, Surrey: 1994), p.9. Michael West, San Francisco Examiner, 23 May 1994, pp.A1, A9.

23 May 1994

A South Korean foreign ministry official states that the Russian submarines purchased by North Korea have had their weapon systems removed and are so obsolete that they are unusable for offensive purposes. The official indicates that the submarines were purchased for scrap and that of the 12 submarines contracted for, only one has been delivered.

Washington Times, 24 May 1994, p.A15.

(Note: Commenting on the state of the equipment on the submarines, Toen Trading Company executive Ariyoshi Shibata states, "Everything is left as it is. Nothing is removed." This suggests that the weapon systems may not have been removed as stated by the South Korean official.)

28 May 1994

US reconnaissance satellites detect TELs operating near the North Korean coast and ships assuming positions off the coast, both of which may indicate preparation for an upcoming Nodong-1 test-launch. Another test of the missile would contribute to the validation of the Nodong-1's flight characteristics.

David E. Sanger, New York Times, 29 May 1994, pp.1, 6. Paul Mann, Aviation Week & Space Technology, 20 June 1994, p.19.

28 May 1994

The Japanese daily Yomiuri Shimbun, quoting Japanese military sources with knowledge of North Korea's movements acquired from the United States, reports that trucks, launchers, and other vehicles assembling at the site suspected of being readied for an upcoming Nodong test-launch. Additionally, naval vessels are reportedly very active in North Korea's east coast ports, possibly to assist in determining the impact point of a tested missile. The sources indicate that North Korea may be planning the test to take advantage of the "warm seasonal weather conditions in the East Sea," not out of "any political intention of influencing nuclear negotiations."

Yonhap (Seoul), 28 May 1994; in FBIS-EAS-94-104, 31 May 1994, p.47.

31 May 1994

According to Pentagon officials, North Korea has test-fired a new anti-ship missile, with a reported range of 100 miles, at a barge in the Sea of Japan, which it reportedly misses. The missile was modified to extend its range from 60 to 100 miles (96km to 160km). One Pentagon official states that North Korea is believed to have been developing the missile over the last 18 months and that it is a low-flying subsonic cruise missile, which appears to be a derivative of Chinese and Russian systems. Officials of the Japanese defense and foreign Ministries indicate that the missile is an upgraded Silkworm missile probably involved in routine training. Former head of the Japanese defense ministry's Defense Research Institute, Makoto Momoi states, "Since the test-firing was conducted in the open sea with proper warnings, I see a clear political motive with these things going on in New York."

Roger Crabb, Reuters, 1 June 1994. Michael R. Gordon, New York Times, 1 June 1994, p.A6. Eugene Moosa, Reuters, 1 June 1994. Reuters, 3 June 1994.

June 1994

Russian President Boris Yeltsin informs South Korean President Kim Young-sam that Russia no longer feels bound by the 1961 treaty in which the Soviet Union pledged to defend North Korea in case of hostilities.

Warren Strobel, Washington Times, 5 July 1994, pp.A1, A8.

June 1994

Sergei Stepashin, chief of the Russian counterintelligence service, reveals that three North Korean nationals have been detained in Primorskoye territory, which is near the Russia-North Korea border, on suspicion of attempting to acquire nuclear weapons components.

Warren Strobel, Washington Times, 5 July 1994, pp.A1, A8.

June 1994

A US government official states, "The North Koreans have a reputation for exporting every weapon they've ever produced. If the North Koreans put a missile with a nuclear warhead on the world market, that's the ultimate

nightmare scenario."

Bill Gertz, Washington Times, 8 June 1994, pp.A1, A9.

June 1994

Robert D. Walpole, deputy director of the CIA's Nonproliferation Center, states, "North Korea is the world's largest proliferator of ballistic missiles. According to Walpole, North Korea may sell the Nodong missile, which is thought to be nuclear-capable, to Iran and possibly to Libya.

Thomas W. Lippman, Washington Post, 14 June 1994, p.27.

June 1994

Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin states that North Korea has delivered to Syria "not just Scud-C missiles in addition to the Scud-B missiles, [but] also the production capability." According to Rabin, the Syrian missile

arsenal poses a much greater threat to Israel than the Iraqi missile attacks during the 1990-1991 Gulf War, and could potentially make Israel's Gulf War experience seem like "a children's game."

Sharone Parnes, Defense News, 27 June 1994, p.16.

June 1994

Modifications are currently underway at the Taepodong rocket test stand facility in North Korea. These modifications are believed to be preparations for a static test of the Taepodong-2 first stage engine. There are several vehicles at the site, and it is anticipated that "new auxiliary tanks" will soon arrive there.

Barbara Starr, Jane's Defence Weekly, 25 June 1994, p.10.

June 1994

US intelligence sources report that, due to inadequate indigenous test facilities, North Korea might test-fire the Nodong-1 missile in Iran within 6 to 12 months. The sources claim that Iran is interested in acquiring both the Nodong-1 and -2 missiles.

Washington Times, 16 June 1994.

June 1994

It is reported that according to Japanese intelligence, the 250,000-member General Association of Korean Residents in Japan, Chongnyun, covertly purchases equipment for North Korea's nuclear and missile programs. If sanctions on North Korea resulting from the nuclear standoff on the Korean Peninsula are imposed, Japan will be forced to "shut down the money and technology pipeline" between Chongnyun and North Korea. But one Japanese government official admits that Chongnyun could continue to send cash and cargo to North Korea via third countries.

Edward W. Desmond and Hiroko Tashiro, Time, 13 June 1994, p.27.

June 1994

According to a 1993-94 South Korean defense white paper, North Korea's artillery and missile forces pose the greatest threat to South Korea, and particularly to Seoul whose 12 million people are just 25 miles (40km) from the DMZ. North Korea has approximately 2,300 rocket launchers and has test-fired the 1,000km-range Nodong-1 ballistic missile. Another concern is North Korea's development of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons, although many defense analysts doubt that North Korea has developed a delivery system for a nuclear weapon.

Shim Sung-won, Reuters, 17 June 1994; in Executive News Service, 17 June 1994.

2 June 1994

According to a Japanese government source, North Korea test-fired a second upgraded version of the Chinese Silkworm anti-ship missile over the Sea of Japan. The source states, "They are just anti-ship missiles. It is not rare to see North Korea test-launching such missiles, but we will pay close attention to what is going on there." Pentagon officials are unable to confirm the second test.

Reuters, 3 June 1994. Reuters, 6 June 1994.

6 June 1994

North Korea's Deputy Ambassador to the UN mission Han Chang-on confirms the test of an anti-ship missile on 31 May 1994, and states, "This was just an exercise, normal, usual exercise."

Reuters, 6 June 1994.

9 June 1994

North Korea's Foreign Minister Kim Yong-nam states that the his country will continue its missile testing, and that North Korea has "the will and sufficient capability to defend itself from sanctions." He further states, "Missile launches occur in any country regularly, and the United States add Japan do this most often. Until now no one ever mentioned anything about our launches of experimental missiles. We don't understand why there is so much noise about it now."

KBS-1 Radio Network (Seoul), 9 June 1994. Reuters, 9 June 1994; in Executive News Service, 9 June 1994.

9 June 1994

In a report to the South Korean parliament, Defense Minister Rhee Byoung-tae states that North Korea is preparing to test-fire a 1,000km-range ballistic missile. He says that the missile is the Taepodong missile, an upgraded version of the Soviet Scud missile, and that North Korea has been preparing for the test since May 1994. Rhee states, "The North is continuously developing strategic weapons."

Reuters, 9 June 1994; in Executive News Service, 9 June 1994.

12 June 1994

KCNA quotes an unnamed North Korean foreign ministry spokesman as stating that North Korea would not supply arms, such as aircraft and tactical missiles, to South Aden as had been rumored. According to KCNA, the official called the rumors "totally groundless," and insinuated that the rumors were meant to influence the nuclear situation in North Korea.

Reuters, 12 June 1994; in Executive News Service, 9 June 1994.

14 June 1994

Japan's Minister of State and National Defense Atsushi Kanda tells the Diet Budget Committee that "it is impossible to defend against the Nodong-1 once it reaches operational status. We believe it necessary to have a large-scale defense system such as the TMD." Director-General of the defense policy bureau of the Japanese Defense Agency stated, "Japan would be able to deal with possible air-strikes with its Self-Defense Forces. But with our existing weapons system it would be difficult to deal with long-range ballistic missiles like Nodong because the velocity of their descent is too rapid."

Reuters, 14 June 1994. Jane's Defence Weekly, 25 June 1994, p.10.

16 June 1994

Joseph Bermudez, an analyst of North Korean military and intelligence affairs, states that US intelligence expects a test-fire of the Nodong-1 missile "any day now." Bermudez states that the "pattern of movement and activity at the missile test facilities" in North Korea was similar to that before the two previous missile tests, and that, based on this, he has been expecting a test for about a month. According to Bermudez, North Korea wants "to show the world that they are somebody to be reckoned with," and adds that the test would be designed to give Washington "some cause for concern."

Reuters, 16 June 1998.

18 June 1994

A 1994 posture statement prepared for Rear Admiral Edward Shaefer, director of US naval intelligence, says that the Nodong missile will likely be equipped with a nuclear warhead by the year 2000, although this may be achieved as early as 1995.

Barbara Starr, Jane's Defence Weekly, 18 June 1994, p.1.

July 1994

According to the Moscow-based Komsomolskaya Pravda, "... some of our scientists no longer need to risk and negotiate border checkpoints in order to work on the North Korean nuclear program. They sit at home and send their calculations to Pyongyang by computer mail, which it is not yet possible to monitor."

Warren Strobel, Washington Times, 5 July 1994, pp.A1, A8.

8 July 1994

Kim Il-sung dies at the age of 82. His son Kim Jong-il succeeds him as leader of North Korea.

Dr. Taeho Kim, Jane's Intelligence Review, September 1994, pp.421-424.

27 June 1994

North Korean defector Kang Myong-do claims that North Korea has five nuclear weapons and plans to build an additional five weapons. Kang said that North Korea was using the negotiations to stall while it built missiles to deliver the weapons. Kang, who is allegedly the son-in-law of North Korea's Premier Kang Son-san, indicated that he had acquired his information from the Yongbyon complex's intelligence chief.

The Times Record, 29 July 1994.

29 July 1994

Kim Hyong-ki, spokesman of South Korea's Ministry of Unification, stated that the claims of North Korean defector Kang Myong-do have "not been supported by solid proof." Kang claimed that North Korea had five nuclear bombs and plans to build five more.

The Times Record, 29 July 1994.

30 September 1994

South Korea releases a white paper and expresses concern at North Korea's attempts to develop longer-range ballistic missile called Taepodong after the successful test-launch of the Nodong-1 missile. The paper also expresses concern about the deployment of FROG rockets and 240mm MRLs near the DMZ. The report also states that North Korea can produce 100 to 150 Scud variants per year.

Jane's Defence Weekly, 22 October 1994, p.6.

October 1994

A reconnaissance satellite captures three Nodong-class missiles being assembled at an assembly site 25 miles north or the Esfahan, Iran. According to an unidentified US official, the Nodong program with North Korea was halted in 1994 due to financial problems. This suspension was only temporary, and preparations for full-scale production and deployment of the Nodong continue.

Iran Brief, 5 December 1994.

7 October 1994

A report presented to the South Korean National Assembly by the Unification Board states that North Korea is attempting to extend the range of its missiles to 1,250 miles and that the Nodong-2 may be completed in 1995.

BMD Monitor, 7 October 1994, p.364.

13 December 1994

Robert Gallucci states that the United States will refuse to establish full diplomatic relations with North Korea until the latter stops exporting ballistic missiles.

Wall Street Journal, 13 December 1994.

December 1994

US Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, Joseph Nye, tells Jane's Defence Weekly that the United States will begin discussing with North Korea limitations on its Nodong and Taepodong ballistic missile programs.

Barbara Starr, Jane's Defence Weekly, 17 December 1994, p.32.

15 December 1994

Israeli Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin says that North Korea has equipped Iran and Syria with the 500km-range Scud SSMs and that he "understood" that North Korea, with Iranian financing was developing the 1,300km-range Nodong missile.

Executive News Service, 12 December 1994.

January 1995

In December 1994, Zaire concludes a $100 million deal for the delivery of 18 Scud-C missiles from North Korea.

Le Point (Paris), 28 January 1995, p.19; in FBIS-EAS-95-025, 28 January 1995.

10 January 1995

In his 10 January 1995 testimony before the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, CIA Director James Woolsey states, "we are moving from an era of Scuds of single-stage missiles into an area of Taepodong [Taepodong]-1 and -2s with ranges in the few thousands of kilometers - not quite intercontinental yet, but the path is clear."

Tony Capaccio, Defense Week, 23 January 1998, pp.8-9.

19 February 1995

The Director General of the Iranian Foreign Ministry's Far Eastern division, Hassan Taherian, denies missile cooperation with North Korea. According to Taherian, "we deny this ...[f]or lack of need and also self-sufficiency in military productions, our military cooperation is very limited. It is about zero."

Reuters, 19 February 1995.

7 April 1995

Japan announces that in March 1995, North Korea test-fired several anti-ship missiles based on the Chinese "Silkworm" into the Sea of Japan. According to Japanese government spokesman, Kozo Igarashi, "we understand they [missiles] were fired as part of a routine practice."

Reuters, 7 April 1995.

19 June 1995

US reconnaissance satellites identify cranes and trucks in North Korea transporting missiles for test-launch by the end of June 1995. According to Japanese government sources, North Korea might only conduct jet-propulsion tests rather than full-scale test-launches to avoid complicating negotiations with the United States over the supply of nuclear reactors.

Sankei Shimbun (Tokyo), 19 June 1995; in FBIS-EAS-95-117, 19 June 1995, p.1.

24 June 1995

US officials verify that since February 1995 six Nodong 1 missiles have entered service in North Korea. The missiles are capable of delivering a load of 500-750kg.

Paul Beaver, Jane's Defence Weekly, 24 June 1995, p.22.

5 April 1995

CIA reports that North Korea has transferred at leas four Scud TELs to Iran. The TELs were transferred in late-1994 and can launch Scud-B and -C missiles.

Tony Capaccio, Defense Week, 1 May 1995, pp.1, 14.

2 May 1995

An Israeli intelligence report states that North Korea has transferred a dozen or more Nodong-1 ballistic missiles to Iran. Also referred to as the Scud-D, the Nodong-1 is said to have a range of 1,500km.

Adel Darwish, Independent (London), 2 May 1995; in FBIS-TAC-95-003, 2 May 1995.

16 June 1995

Robert Galluci says that the United States intends to halt North Korea's production and export of ballistic missiles.

Yonhap (Seoul), 16 June 1995; in FBIS-NEA-95-116, 16 June 1995.

1 August 1995

During a visit to Iran by North Korean minister, Kim Young-nam from 29 May-2 June 1995, Iran proposes to pay for some $300 million worth of Scud missiles purchased from North Korea with oil.

Iran Brief, 1 August 1995, p.6.

August 1995

According to Israeli sources, North Korea halts development of the Nodong missile program due to either technical difficulties or political pressure from the United States.

Flight International, August-September 1995, p.4.

10 September 1995

South Korean intelligence officials, citing Russian intelligence say, that North Korea could deploy the Taepodong-2 missile by the year 2000. According to the US CIA's computer simulations, the Taepodong-2 might have a range between 4,300-6,000km. According to Russian sources, however, North Korea could extend the range of the Taepodong-2 to 9,600km if it resolved difficulties related to the missile's inertial navigation system, warhead weight and the fuel injection device.

Pak Chae-pom, Seoul Sinmum, 11 September 1995, p.3; in FBIS-EAS-95-175.

15 September 1995

South Korea's Yonhap news agency reports that North Korea has deployed its Nodong-1 SSM. However, the chairman of Japan's Joint Staff Council (JCS) of the Self Defense Forces said that the "possibility of North Korea deploying these missiles is low."

Nihon Keizai Shimbun (Tokyo), 15 September 1995, p.8; in FBIS-EAS-95-181, 15 September 1995.

29 September 1995

US intelligence warns that North Korea could extend the range of its Taepodong-2 missile by the year 2000 to target the western United States. Intelligence officials believe that China is assisting North Korea in developing a long-range ballistic missile and training 200 North Korean missile engineers in China.

Bill Gertz, Washington Times, 29 September 1995, p.A3.

9 October 1995

A top South Korean National Defense Ministry source says that North Korea will be ready to deploy Nodong-1 missiles by the end of 1996.

Son Tae-kyu, Hanguk Ilbo (Seoul), 10 October 1995, p.1; in FBIS-EAS-95-195, 10 October 1995.

4 October 1995

South Korea's Hanguk Ilbo reports that North Korea has 30 launchers for the 300km Scud-B and 500km Scud-C ballistic missiles.

Son Tae-kyu, Hanguk Ilbo (Seoul), 4 October 1995, p.5.

13 October 1995

In an interview on South Korean television, Choe Chu-hwal, a former colonel who defected from North Korea, says that North Korea is manufacturing 1,000km-range ballistic missiles at the Taeji plant in Pyongyang. According to Choe North Korea has missiles with ranges of 400km to 500km and that a 1,000km-range missile has been tested.

KBS-1 Television Network (Seoul), 13 October 1995; in FBIS-EAS-95-199, 13 October 1995.

15 October 1995

A new US intelligence study says that North Korea will soon have the capability to produce blast fragmentation missiles with warheads capable of carrying approximately 100 submunitions within 5kg each. The submunitions, loaded with metal or chemicals, would be dispersed 60km over the launch area. All 100 submunitions would follow a ballistic trajectory, hitting a target within a span of 20 seconds.

Re'uven Pedatzur, Ha'aretz (Tel Aviv), 15 October 1995; in FBIS-NES-95-199, 15 October 1995.

November 1995

According to CIA Director, John Deutch, North Korea may begin deploying the Nodong-1 by the end of 1996. The CIA says that North Korea may be working on fitting its Nodong and Taepodong missiles with nuclear, chemical, and biological warheads.

Barbara Starr, Jane's Defence Weekly, 11 November 1995, p.16.

12 December 1995

The CIA reports to the US Congress that the chance of North Korea acquiring missiles capable of targeting Alaska in five years is "very low."

Jim Adams, Reuters, 12 December 1995.

20 December 1995

It is alleged that between April-October 1995, Peru held clandestine meetings with North Korea to discuss a $52.5 million purchase of Scud-C missiles. Peru's President, Alberto Fujimori denies the report.

EFE (Madrid), 20 December 1995; in FBIS-LAT-95-244, 20 December 1995.

30 December 1995

Iran denies that it ever bought long-range missiles from North Korea. According to Iranian Minister for Defense and Armed Forces and Logistics Mohammad Foruzandeh, "Iran's policy is to ignore unfounded Western allegations." Western experts believe, however, that Iran is not only trying to buy the 1,000km-range Nodong missiles from the North Korea, but is also working to jointly produce them.

Xinhua (Beijing), 31 December 1995.

31 December 1995

North Korea and the United States agree to begin talks concerning North Korea's foreign sales of Scud missiles. South Korean officials believe that North Korea may be increasing its Scud sales to alleviate food shortages.

Ku Song-chae, Choson Ilbo (Seoul), 31 December 1995, p.2.

Next Chronology: 1996-1998
Previous Chronology: 1992-1993


Acknowledgements:
Gaurav Kampani, Greg J. Gerardi, James A. Plotts, Brooke E. Milton, and David Van Patten
Edited by Peter Saracino
© Center for Nonproliferation Studies,
Monterey Institute of International Studies

Map | Factsheet | Overview | Chronology | Links


Return to the North Korea Missile page.