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Chronology of North Korean missile development

North Korea launched a ballistic missile over Japanese territory on Tuesday, in a surprise move that ramped up international alarm over its weapons programme.  

Here are the key dates in Pyongyang’s quest to develop a missile capable of hitting the United States: 

Late 1970s: North Korea starts working on a version of the Soviet Scud-B (range 300 kilometres or 185 miles). Test-fired in 1984 

1987-92: Begins developing variant of Scud-C (range 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 rocket over Japan in what it calls a satellite launch — the US and others say it is a missile 

Sept 1999: Declares moratorium on long-range missile tests amid improving ties with US 

July 12, 2000: Fifth round of US-North Korean missile talks ends without agreement after North demands $1 billion a year in return for halting missile exports 

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

July 5, 2006: Test-fires seven missiles, including a long-range Taepodong-2 which explodes after 40 seconds 

Oct 9, 2006: Conducts underground nuclear test, its first 

April 5, 2009: Launches long-range rocket which flies over Japan and lands in the Pacific, in what it says is an attempt to put a satellite into orbit. The United States, Japan and South Korea see it as a disguised test of a Taepodong-2 

May 25, 2009: Conducts its second underground nuclear test, several times more powerful than the first

April 13, 2012: Launches what it has said is a long-range rocket to put a satellite into orbit, but which disintegrates soon after blast-off 

December 12, 2012: Launches a multi-stage rocket and successfully places an Earth observational satellite in orbit 

February 12, 2013: Conducts its third underground nuclear test 

January 6, 2016: Conducts its fourth underground nuclear test, which it says was a hydrogen bomb — a claim doubted by most experts 

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

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

July 8, 2016: US and South Korea announce plans to deploy an advanced missile defence system — THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defence) 

September 9, 2016: Conducts fifth nuclear test 

March 6, 2017: Fires four ballistic missiles in what it says is an exercise to hit US bases in Japan 

March 7, 2017: US begins deploying THAAD missile defence system in South Korea 

May 14, 2017: North Korea fires a ballistic missile which flies 700 kilometres before landing in the Sea of Japan. Analysts say it has an imputed range of 4,500 kilometres (2,800 miles) and brings Guam within reach 

July 4, 2017: Test-fires a ballistic missile that analysts say brings Alaska within reach. Pyongyang later says it was a “landmark” test of a Hwasong-14 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) 

July 28, 2017: Launches a missile with a theoretical range of 10,000 kilometres, meaning it could hit much of the United States 

August 26, 2017: Fires three short-range ballistic missiles 

August 29, 2017: Fires ballistic missile across Japanese territory. South Korea says it was launched from Sunan, near Pyongyang and flew around 2,700 kilometres at a maximum altitude of around 550 kilometres

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