Taepodong (TD)-1 Missile
North Korea tested a three-stage Taepodong-1, which North Korean officials said was to place its first satellite into orbit. However, U.S., Japanese, and South Korean officials saw the event as a test of a long-range missile that failed but showed North Korea’s technical capabilities to develop multiple-stage missiles. During the test, the first and second stages separated approximately 300 km and 1,380 km respectively from the launch site.
The third stage failed right before reaching orbit but surprised Western intelligence analysts who believed there would be only two stages. According to CIA national intelligence officer, Robert Walpole, the TD-1 had a range of 1,500 to 2,000 km, but this varied among TD variants. TD-1 was developed concurrently with the ND-1 in 1988. Satellite photographs showed that TD-1 consisted of the ND-1 as the first stage and the Hwasong-6 (Scud) as the second stage.
North Korea drew international criticism once again for firing a series of short-range missiles off its east coast. On July 2, 2009, North Korea test-fired four short-range missiles, which were followed by seven missiles launched on July 4, 2009. South Korean military officials reported that the test-firings on the U.S.
Independence Day involved Scud and No Dong (or Rodong) ballistic missiles that flew about 240-310 miles off North Korea’s eastern coast into the sea separating Japan and North Korea, according to South Korea’s Yonhap news agency.
The missile tests had been expected as North Korea declared a nosail zone from June 25 to July 10 in order to conduct military drills, but South Korea and Japan called these military exercises a provocative act that violated a U.N. Security Council resolution barring the rogue nation from conducting missile-launch activities. Britain and France issued similar statements, while Russia and China called all sides to remain calm and urged North Korea to return to the six-party talks. These missile tests came after the U.N. Security Council imposed new sanctions prompted by North Korea’s second nuclear test on May 25, 2009.