North Korea has been developing missiles since the 1980s and conducted its first missile test in 1998. After years of hard work, North Korea has made some progress in missile technology and is trying to use its missile technology for the development of nuclear weapons.
Here are some key events in North Korea’s missile development history:
In 1984, North Korea began purchasing missile technology from the Soviet Union and established a missile research institute.
In 1993, North Korea announced its withdrawal from the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).
In 1998, North Korea conducted its first missile test, the Pukguksong-1, which had a range of about 500 kilometers.
In 2006, North Korea conducted its first nuclear test, the results of which were widely condemned by the international community.
North Korea conducted its second and third nuclear tests in 2009 and 2012, respectively, and conducted multiple missile tests. Among them, the successful test launch of the “Unha-3” missile in 2012 showed North Korea’s progress in missile technology.
In 2016 and 2017, North Korea conducted a series of missile tests, including intercontinental ballistic missiles and submarine-launched ballistic missiles. In 2017, North Korea successfully test-fired an intercontinental ballistic missile called Hwasong-12, which had a range of about 4,500 kilometers.
Although North Korea’s missile technology has made some progress in recent years, due to the sanctions imposed by the United Nations and restrictions from other countries, North Korea’s missile technology still has many shortcomings.
On March 25, 2021, North Korea tested two ballistic missiles, its first missile test since US President Joe Biden took office in 2021. According to reports, the two missiles are “Musui Duanbi” and “Polaris”, both of which have a range of more than 800 kilometers.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un also personally watched the missile test, saying that the test is of great significance to improving North Korea’s national defense capabilities. The missile test has aroused widespread concern from the international community and sparked a series of discussions and controversies.
According to a report by the Korean Central News Agency on February 19, 2023, North Korea successfully launched an intercontinental ballistic missile, “Hwasong-15,” on the 18th.
Although the launch notice was not received in advance, it was discovered by the Japanese. The Japanese Ministry of Defense said afterward that the Hwasong-15 flew for about 66 minutes, and the flight distance was 900 kilometers. Moreover, during the flight, the highest point reached more than 5,700 kilometers-this height is equivalent to the height of a medium-orbit satellite from the ground.
Through calculations, the Ministry of Defense of Japan stated that if the Hwasong-15 is launched normally, the maximum range can reach 14,000 kilometers, which means that it is fully capable of bringing the entire territory of the United States into the strike range.