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Chapter 2: What is a Ballistic Missile?

Chapter 3: Ballistic Missiles of North Korea

Chapter 4: Tactical Ballistic Missiles

Chapter 5: Strategic Ballistic Missiles

Chapter 6: Ballistic Missiles – Countering the Threat

Chapter 7: Nuclear Proliferation – North Korea and Beyond

Appendix A: Glossary of Technical Terms

Appendix B: Ballistic Missiles of the World

Appendix C: Chronology of Events





Chapter 1

North Korea’s Missile-Centred Culture



The nuclear-armed ballistic missile is the most destructive weapon the world has ever seen. Over the last sixty years, it has become the status symbol of choice for any state that aspires to be a major player on the international stage. The latest country to join this most exclusive club is the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, more commonly referred to as North Korea.

North Korea first acquired short-range Soviet-built ballistic missiles during the 1970s. By the 1980s, the country was building missiles of its own – essentially copies of the Soviet design. In the subsequent decades, a whole family of indigenous missiles was developed, of increasing size, range and technical sophistication. North Korea’s short-range missiles threaten its neighbour South Korea, its intermediate-range missiles threaten Japan, and its longest range missiles threaten US bases in the Pacific Ocean, and possibly even the westernmost states of Alaska and Hawaii.

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