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Taepodong-2

Taepodong-2

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The Taepodong-2 is a designation used to indicate a North Korea
North Korea
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea , , is a country in East Asia, occupying the northern half of the Korean Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Pyongyang. The Korean Demilitarized Zone serves as the buffer zone between North Korea and South Korea...

n two or three-stage ballistic missile
Ballistic missile
A ballistic missile is a missile that follows a sub-orbital ballistic flightpath with the objective of delivering one or more warheads to a predetermined target. The missile is only guided during the relatively brief initial powered phase of flight and its course is subsequently governed by the...

 design that is the successor to the Taepodong-1
Taepodong-1
Taepodong-1 is a two-stage intermediate-range ballistic missile developed in North Korea, and the weapon is currently in use there. The missile was derived originally from the Scud rocket, and can allegedly serve as both a nuclear delivery system and a space launch vehicle...

.

Details


Based on the size of the missile, the fuel composition, and the likely fuel capacity, it is estimated that a two stage variant would have a range of around 4,000 km (2,500 statute miles) and a three stage variant would be capable of reaching as far as 4,500 km (2,800 statute miles), giving it potentially the longest range in the North Korea
North Korea
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea , , is a country in East Asia, occupying the northern half of the Korean Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Pyongyang. The Korean Demilitarized Zone serves as the buffer zone between North Korea and South Korea...

n missile arsenal. The burn time of each stage is a little over 100 seconds, thus allowing the missile to burn for 5 or 6 minutes. Speculative variants of the missile could be capable of a range of approximately 9,000 km (5,600 statute miles). At maximum range, the Taepodong-2 is estimated to have a payload capacity of less than 500 kg (~1,100 lbs).

According to Kim il Son, a former worker in the publications department of one of North Korea's top research centres, North Korea began development of the missile in 1987.

Very few details concerning the technical specifications of the rocket are in the public domain; even the name "Taepodong-2" is a designation applied by agencies outside of North Korea to what is presumed to be a successor to the Taepodong-1. The TD-2 first stage likely uses a liquid propellant (TM-185 fuel and AK-27I oxidizer) driven engine and the second stage likely utilises the Nodong short-range missile. Depending on the range, the estimated payload capacity could be as high as 700–1,000 kg (~1,550 - 2,200 lbs) at short range, making it potentially suitable for conventional weapons payloads, NBC payloads as well as Earth orbit satellite
Satellite
In the context of spaceflight, a satellite is an object which has been placed into orbit by human endeavour. Such objects are sometimes called artificial satellites to distinguish them from natural satellites such as the Moon....

 delivery. At maximum range, the Taepodong-2 is estimated to have a payload capacity of less than 500 kg (~1,100 lbs). North Korea has yet to demonstrate the ability to produce a re-entry vehicle that works. It is doubtful that a TD-2 could be used to accurately deliver a weapons payload in the near future as the accuracy of the claims of its power cannot be verified.

First stage


Taepodong-2's first stage is a Musudan-1 "Mobile" 4,000 km MRBM, based on the Soviet R-27 Zyb. North Korea developed the Musudan-1 with the help of former Russian engineers of the VP Makeyev Design Bureau
Makeyev Rocket Design Bureau
The Makeyev Design Bureau is a Russian missile design company located at in Miass, Russia. Opened in December 1947 as SKB-385, the company is the main designer of submarine-launched ballistic missiles in Russia. The organization was named in honor of Victor Makeyev. Its full official name is...

. On April 5, 2009, a Taepodong-2 missile with a satellite on board, was launched from the Musudan-ri facility. The payload did not reach orbit, however, the first stage worked without any problems and fell in the ocean as planned.

Around 2007 North Korea claims to have deployed 12 to 18 of this missile and showed them in military parades. Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

 acquired 18 Musudan-1 missiles from the DPRK in 2005.

The original R-27 is a liquid fuel missile with a medium range and a single warhead (although later versions had up to three warheads). It was submarine-launched, as opposed to the current North Korean version, which is land-mobile and hence has improved survivability.

Second and third stages


Little is known about the Taepodong-2 design beyond the first stage. Most likely the second stage is one of the Scud-derived North Korean ballistic missiles (either Rodong-1 or Hwasong-6
Hwasong-6
The Hwasong-6 is a North Korean tactical ballistic missile. It is derived from the Hwasong-5, itself a derivative of the Soviet R-17 Elbrus. It carries the NATO reporting name Scud....

), and the third stage most probably uses Chinese solid-fuel motors.

Missile test in 2006



U.S. intelligence reports revealed that North Korea was possibly planning to conduct a test flight of this missile. It was unknown when it would fly or indeed what the purpose of the flight would be, the two most likely explanations being a test flight or an attempted satellite delivery. The United States and Japan stated that they might consider sanctions against North Korea if it decided to go forward with the test. Both countries stated that the test or launch of a TD-2 missile by North Korea would be in violation of the Japan-North Korea Pyongyang Declaration
Japan-North Korea Pyongyang Declaration
The Japan-North Korea Pyongyang Declaration, signed in 2002, was the result of the first Japan-North Korea summit meeting. It was an attempt to resolve the uneasy diplomatic relationship that existed between the two nations, provided for economic assistance to North Korea , low-interest long-term...

, an agreement between Kim Jong Il and Junichiro Koizumi
Junichiro Koizumi
is a Japanese politician who served as Prime Minister of Japan from 2001 to 2006. He retired from politics when his term in parliament ended.Widely seen as a maverick leader of the Liberal Democratic Party , he became known as an economic reformer, focusing on Japan's government debt and the...

 in which North Korea agreed not to test long-range missiles.

A Taepodong-2 missile was test fired on July 5, 2006 from the Musudan-ri Missile Test Facility
Musudan-ri
The Tonghae Satellite Launching Ground, also known as Musudan-ri, is a rocket launching site in North Korea. It lies in southern North Hamgyong province, near the northern tip of the East Korea Bay...

. According to preliminary reports, the missile failed in mid-flight 35–40 seconds after launch. North Korea also launched at least two short-range Nodong-2
Nodong-2
Rodong-2 is a single stage, mobile liquid propellant medium range ballistic missile developed by North Korea....

 missiles along with the Taepodong-2.

Satellite Launching in 2009



In February 2009, spy satellites revealed North Korea's preparation of another Taepodong-2. It has been estimated to be able to reach 5500 km (3,417.6 mi), far enough to target Alaska.

North Korea informed the International Civil Aviation Organization
International Civil Aviation Organization
The International Civil Aviation Organization , pronounced , , is a specialized agency of the United Nations. It codifies the principles and techniques of international air navigation and fosters the planning and development of international air transport to ensure safe and orderly growth...

 (ICAO
International Civil Aviation Organization
The International Civil Aviation Organization , pronounced , , is a specialized agency of the United Nations. It codifies the principles and techniques of international air navigation and fosters the planning and development of international air transport to ensure safe and orderly growth...

) that it will launch a "communications satellite" Kwangmyŏngsŏng-2
Kwangmyŏngsŏng-2
In this regard, a delegation of fifteen strong Iranian rocket scientists, including senior officials with Iranian rocket and satellite producer Shahid Hemmat Industrial Group, has been in the DPRK since the beginning of March, to help prepare for the launch...

 on a Unha-2 carrier rocket between April 4 and April 8, 2009, however, security analysts anticipated it would be a test of a long-range ballistic missile that could reach potential Japanese or mainland US targets. On April 5, 2009 the rocket was launched at around 02:30 hours UTC (11:30 hours KST). The US Northern Command said that the first stage of the rocket fell into the Sea of Japan
Sea of Japan
The Sea of Japan is a marginal sea of the western Pacific Ocean, between the Asian mainland, the Japanese archipelago and Sakhalin. It is bordered by Japan, North Korea, Russia and South Korea. Like the Mediterranean Sea, it has almost no tides due to its nearly complete enclosure from the Pacific...

 (East Sea of Korea), while the other rocket stages as well as the payload fell into the Pacific Ocean, and no object entered orbit. Later analysis indicated the rocket impacted 2390 miles (3,846.3 km) from the launch site, and that the second stage operated normally but the rocket's third stage failed to separate properly. North Korea maintains that the rocket successfully put its payload in orbit.

See also

  • Military of North Korea
  • North Korea and weapons of mass destruction
    North Korea and weapons of mass destruction
    North Korea has declared that it has nuclear weapons and is believed by many to have nuclear weapons. The CIA assesses that North Korea also has a substantial arsenal of chemical weapons...

    • Taepodong-1
      Taepodong-1
      Taepodong-1 is a two-stage intermediate-range ballistic missile developed in North Korea, and the weapon is currently in use there. The missile was derived originally from the Scud rocket, and can allegedly serve as both a nuclear delivery system and a space launch vehicle...

    • Nodong-1
      Nodong-1
      The Rodong-1 is a single stage, mobile liquid propellant medium range ballistic missile developed by North Korea...

    • Nodong-2
      Nodong-2
      Rodong-2 is a single stage, mobile liquid propellant medium range ballistic missile developed by North Korea....

    • Musudan-1
  • North Korean rocket launching operations
    • 1993 North Korean missile test
    • launching of Kwangmyŏngsŏng-1
      Kwangmyŏngsŏng-1
      Kwangmyŏngsŏng-1 was a satellite allegedly launched by North Korea on 31 August 1998. While the North Korean government claimed that the launch was successful making North Korea the ninth country to launch a satellite, no objects were ever tracked in orbit from the launch, and outside North Korea...

       in 1998
    • 2006 North Korean missile test
    • launching of Kwangmyŏngsŏng-2
      Kwangmyŏngsŏng-2
      In this regard, a delegation of fifteen strong Iranian rocket scientists, including senior officials with Iranian rocket and satellite producer Shahid Hemmat Industrial Group, has been in the DPRK since the beginning of March, to help prepare for the launch...

       in 2009


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