TIMELINE: North Korean missile development

Agence France-Presse
TIMELINE: North Korean missile development


(UPDATED) Here's how North Korea's nuclear program got to where it is

SEOUL, South Korea (UPDATED) – For the second time in less than a month, North Korea has fired a ballistic missile over Japan on Friday, September 15 – days after the international community further tightened its sanctions over its banned weapons and nuclear program.

Here’s how the program got to where it is:

Late 1970s: North Korea starts working on a version of the Soviet Scud-B (range 300 kilometers or 186 miles). Test-fired in 1984

1987-92: Begins developing variant of Scud-C (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 over Japan

Sept 1999: Declares moratorium on long-range missile tests as ties with US improve

March 3, 2005: Ends moratorium on long-range missile testing, blaming Bush administration’s “hostile” policy

Oct 9, 2006: First underground nuclear test

May 25, 2009: Second underground nuclear test, several times more powerful than the first

December 13, 2011: Leader Kim Jong-Il dies, is succeeded by his son Kim Jong-Un

December 12, 2012: The North launches multi-stage rocket and successfully places satellite in orbit

February 12, 2013: Third underground nuclear test

January 6, 2016: Fourth underground nuclear test, which Pyongyang claims was hydrogen bomb

March 9, 2016: Kim Jong-Un claims the North has successfully miniaturized a thermo-nuclear warhead

April 23, 2016: North test-fires a submarine-launched ballistic missile

July 8, 2016: US and South Korea announce plans to deploy an advanced missile defense system – the US THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense)

August 3, 2016: North Korea fires a ballistic missile directly into Japanese-controlled waters for the first time

August 24, 2016: Successfully test-fires another submarine–launched ballistic missile

September 9, 2016: Fifth nuclear test

February 12, 2017: Tests ballistic missile, which flies about 500 kilometers (310 miles) before falling into the Sea of Japan

March 6, 2017: North fires 4 ballistic missiles in what is says is an exercise to hit US bases in Japan

March 19, 2017: North Korea says it has tested a new rocket engine

April 5, 2017: North Korea fires a ballistic missile into the Sea of Japan

May 2, 2017: THAAD anti-missile system goes operational in South Korea

May 14, 2017: North fires what it says is a “newly-developed mid/long-range strategic ballistic rocket, Hwasong-12”, which flies 700 kilometers before landing in the Sea of Japan

May 29, 2017: Test fires a short-range ballistic missile which lands in Japan’s exclusive economic zone

June 8, 2017: North Korea launches what it claims is new type of ‘cruise rocket’

June 22, 2017: North Korea tests a rocket engine which could be fitted to an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) ahead of South Korean President Moon Jae-In’s first trip to Washington since taking office

July 4, 2017: North Korea says it successfully tests an ICBM which is capable of reaching Alaska. Kim Jong-Un says it is a gift for the “American bastards”

July 28: Second successful ICBM test

August 6, 2017: UN Security Council unanimously adopts tougher sanctions on the North

August 9, 2017: US President Donald Trump threatens Pyongyang with “fire and fury” over its missile program

Hours later, North Korea says it is considering strikes near US strategic military installations in Guam

August 29, 2017: North Korea fires a ballistic missile over Japan. Tokyo says it is an “unprecedented, serious and grave threat”

September 3, 2017: North Korean state media claims the country has developed a hydrogen bomb which can be loaded into ICBM

North conducts its 6th and largest yet nuclear test. Monitoring groups estimate a yield of 250 kilotons, which is 16 times the size of the 15-kiloton US bomb that destroyed Hiroshima in 1945

September 4, 2017: South Korea and the US say they will deploy more anti-missile defenses

September 12, 2017: UN Security Council unanimously adopts new sanctions, slapping a ban on textile exports and restricting shipments of oil products to North Korea

September 15, 2017: North Korea fires a ballistic missile over Japan and into the Pacific, responding to new UN sanctions with what appears to be its furthest-ever missile flight. – Rappler.com

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