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Type technology demonstrator
Service history
Used by  North Korea
Production history
Manufacturer  North Korea
Weight 33.4 tons
Length 25.8 m
Diameter 1.8 m

Engine liquid-fueled
Chosŏn'gŭl 대포동-1
Hancha 大浦洞-1
Revised Romanization Daepodong-1
McCune–Reischauer Taep'odong-1

Taepodong-1 is a three-stage technology demonstrator of an intermediate-range ballistic missile developed by North Korea. The missile was derived originally from the Scud rocket, and was tested once as a space launch vehicle.


On August 31, 1998, it was announced by the North Koreans that they had used this rocket to launch their first satellite Kwangmyŏngsŏng-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.[1] This is contrary to official statements of the North Korean state media, which stated that the satellite achieved orbit about 5 minutes after launch.[2] On this single launch, the main two-stage booster flew for 1,646 km without any significant problems.[3]

Nodong and Taepodong 1 & 2

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.[4]

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."[5] 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.[6]


Estimated maximum range of some North Korean missiles [7]
  • Liftoff thrust: 525.25 kN
  • Total mass: 33 406 kg
  • Diameter: 1.80 m
  • Length: 25.80 m
  • Range with 1,500 kg of payload: 2,000 km
  • Range with 1,000 kg of payload: 2,500 km
  • Range with 50 kg of payload and third stage: 6,000 km[8]

The rocket's first stage is a Rodong-1 MRBM, and the second stage is a Hwasong-6 short-range ballistic missile.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "A History of Ballistic Missile Development in the DPRK". Center for Nonproliferation Studies Occasional Papers. Retrieved 2006-04-08. [dead link]
  2. ^ Broadcast excerpted in "Kwangmyongsong". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Retrieved 2006-04-08. 
  3. ^ Все названия испытываемых в КНДР ракет в иностранной печати придуманы, RIA Novosti, 07-07-2006
  4. ^ CRS report for Congress
  5. ^ E:\PICKUP\89797A
  6. ^ Ballistic and Cruise Missile Threat (PDF). National Air and Space Intelligence Center (Report) (Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Agency). April 2009. NASIC-1031-0985-09. Retrieved 20 February 2013. 
  7. ^ BBC News - How potent are North Korea's threats?
  8. ^ Pekdosan-1 ("Taepodong-1"), skyrocket.de

External links[edit]