A look at North Korea’s nuclear and missile tests this year


Seoul, South Korea – North Korea on Wednesday closed its longest pause in missile tests this year with its most powerful version of an intercontinental ballistic missile destined for the United States.

It was North Korea's 20th launch of a ballistic missile this year and the third successful test of an ICBM after two releases in July. The launch adds to fears that the North will soon have a military arsenal that can point to the US mainland.

A look at some of North Korea's most important nuclear and missile tests this year:


FEB. 12

North Korea conducts its first known test of a new mid-range ballistic missile that it calls Pukguksong (Polaris) -2, a terrestrial variant of a previously launched missile launched by a submarine. The missile uses solid fuel, which makes it easier to move and launch it with little anticipation than weapons that use liquid fuel.


MAY 14

North Korea presents a newly developed intermediate range missile, Hwasong-12, which says it is designed to carry a heavy nuclear warhead. The flight test is done at a high angle to reduce the range and avoid other countries. The North says the missile traveled 787 kilometers (489 miles) and reached a maximum altitude of 2,111 kilometers (1,310 miles).


May 21

North Korea makes another test launch of the Pukguksong-2 and later declares the missile ready for mbad production and operational deployment. The missile flew about 500 kilometers (310 miles) and reached a height of 560 kilometers (350 miles) before crashing into the sea.



North Korea performs its first flight test of an ICBM, the Hwasong-14, launching it on a highly elevated trajectory. North Korea says the missile allegedly with nuclear capability reached a height of 2,802 kilometers (1,740 miles) and flew 933 kilometers (580 miles) for 39 minutes before falling into the sea. The North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, expresses his satisfaction for the successful test, saying that the United States would dislike the North's "gift package" given on the Independence Day of the United States.



North Korea conducts its second test of the ICBM Hwasong-14, which it says reached a maximum height of 3,725 kilometers (2,314 miles) and traveled 998 kilometers (620 miles) before landing accurately in Japanese waters. North says the test was aimed at confirming the maximum range and other technical aspects of a missile capable of launching a "large heavy nuclear warhead". Kim says the nighttime release showed the country's ability to shoot at "random locations and regions." at random times "with" all "continental US territory within range."



North Korea fires a Hwasong-12 intermediate range missile from its capital, Pyongyang. It flew over Japan before plunging into the northern Pacific Ocean, a shift in the North Korean model of high-angle fire missiles.The South Korean army says the missile traveled about 2,700 kilometers (1,677 miles) and reached a maximum height of 550 kilometers (341 miles) The launch came weeks after North Korea threatened to launch a salvo of Hwasong-12 that would surround Guam with "wraparound" missile fire.Kim calls the launch a "significant prelude" to contain to Guam and asked that his army conduct more tests directed at the Pacific Ocean.



North Korea holds its sixth and most powerful nuclear test to date, they allege It was a hydrogen bomb designed for use in ICBM. He says the test was a "perfect success" and another step in the development of weapons capable of attacking anywhere in the United States.


SEPT. 15

North Korea fires another Hwasong-12 missile over Japan in the Pacific. The missile flies some 3,700 kilometers (2,300 miles), making it the longest missile flight in the country. Kim says that his country is approaching its goal of "balance" in military strength with the United States.


NOV. 29

The South Korean military said the last missile fired from an area near Pyongyang traveled 960 kilometers (596 miles) and reached a height of 4,500 kilometers (2,796 miles). This demonstrates a potential operational range of 13,000 kilometers (8,100 miles), which would put Washington, D.C., and all other parts of the continental United States comfortably within reach, according to US badyst David Wright. Later, North Korea publishes similar flight data for what it described as a newer and more powerful ICBM called Hwasong-15. The North says the missile could be armed with a "super-large and heavy" nuclear warhead.

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