SEOUL: In the latest in a long series of nuclear and missile tests, North Korea on Tuesday (Jul 4) test-fired a ballistic missile which analysts said could bring Alaska within its range.

Here are key dates in its decades-long missile programme:

Late 1970s: Starts working on a version of the Soviet Scud-B (range 300 kilometres or 186 miles). Test-fired in 1984

1987-92: Begins developing variant of Scud-C (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 over Japan as part of failed satellite launch

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

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

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

Jul 5, 2006: North test-fires seven missiles, including a long-range Taepodong-2 which explodes after 40 seconds

Oct 9, 2006: North conducts underground nuclear test, its first

Apr 5, 2009: North Korea 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: North conducts its second underground nuclear test, several times more powerful than the first

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

Dec 12, 2012: North launches a multi-stage rocket and successfully places an Earth observational satellite in orbit

Feb 12, 2013: Conducts its third underground nuclear test

Jan 6, 2016: North conducts its fourth underground nuclear test, which it says was of a hydrogen bomb — a claim doubted by most experts

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

Apr 23, 2016: North test-fires a submarine-launched ballistic missile

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

Aug 3, 2016: North Korea fires a ballistic missile directly into Japan’s maritime economic zone for the first time

Sep 9, 2016: Fifth nuclear test

Mar 6, 2017: North fires four ballistic missiles in what it says is an exercise to hit US bases in Japan

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

May 14, 2017: North 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 and brings Guam within reach

Jul 4, 2017: North Korea test-fires a ballistic missile which flies 930 kilometres before landing in the Sea of Japan. Analysts say it has an imputed range of 6,700 kilometres and brings Alaska within reach



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