North Korea’s rocket began life underwater
Schematic drawing of a Taepo-Dong 2 missile by Charles Vick of GlobalSecurity.org
April 4th, 2012
02:00 AM ET

North Korea’s rocket began life underwater

By Larry Shaughnessy

If North Korea launches a missile in the next couple of weeks, as it has promised, it will be the result of international cooperation stretching from Moscow to Tehran and, perhaps, Beijing.

Experts who track North Korea's space program expect the communist regime will roll out a somewhat improved version of the Taepodong-2 (or the Unha-2 as North Korea refers to it) missile it last tested in April 2009.

The Taepodong-2 has never had a completely successful launch but, according to David Wright of the Union of Concerned Scientists, "We can go back and model that (2009) trajectory pretty well. The trajectory certainly appears to be the kind of trajectory they would have used for a satellite launch."

Experts expect the missile that the North Koreans are preparing to test is not drastically different from the vehicle used three years ago.

"I don't expect any major new things utterly visible on the launch vehicle. I expect it to be the same basic configuration as we saw in 2009," said Charles Vick, senior fellow in space policy for GlobalSecurity.Org.

After years of watching North Korea's activities and past launches, experts like Vick and Wright have been able to learn a lot, but not everything, about the Taepodong-2.

Most large modern rockets are built in several parts, or stages. In this case, the first, or lower, stage provides the bulk of the power to lift the missile off the launch pad and into its initial flight trajectory. When the first stage runs out of fuel, it falls off and the second, or middle, stage kicks the missile to a higher altitude and gets it going faster. The third, or upper, stage carries the payload and provides that last kick of power to lift the payload (in this case a small satellite) into orbit at a speed that will keep it there.

Wright believes the upper stage of the Taepodong-2 comes from a missile first built by the Soviets in their heyday 50 years ago. In 1962, the Soviets started developing a new submarine-launched ballistic missile, the SSN-6. It was made up of a large engine that provided lift and some small steering engines on top that kept it on course.

About the upper stage Wright said that what many observers think, "having looked at both what we've seen of the structure of it and also how it operated in the 2009 launch, is that it uses small engines from a Russian submarine-launched missile that Russia built ... called the SSN-6."

The small engines are liquid-fueled and originally were meant to steer the sub-launched missile.

But this is where the experts Security Clearance spoke to disagree. Vick said the upper stage of the Taepodong-2 has a very different ancestry.

"The third stage is of Chinese origin," he said. "The third stage is actually a Chinese solid motor surrounded by shrouds."

Whatever the origin, that upper stage has never worked. Referring to the 2009 launch, Wright said, "As far as we can tell, the third stage simply didn't fire and fell into the ocean with the second stage."

The two experts agree that the second stage of the Taepodong-2 missile comes from the SSN-6.

"The second stage, from the size and the way it operated, was essentially one of these SSN-6 Soviet missiles," Wright said. "We have some good photos of this launch vehicle that the North Koreans provided; it has the right size and shape. If you do some of the computer modeling that we've done, it has some of the performance you would expect of the Soviet missile."

The bottom or first stage represents about 80% of the Taepodong-2's initial weight. While it appears North Korea had the most to do with its design and construction, it also may have started in the old Soviet Union.

The stage is made up of a cluster of North Korea Nodong engines, which were developed from old Soviet Scud missiles.

Vick is convinced that Pyongyang is working together with Tehran on the missile development. "Iran and North Korea have cooperated totally together on this launch vehicle. Iran did a lot of propulsion work," he said.

Wright agrees there is some link, but exactly how it works is unclear to him.

"It's sometimes hard to tell which direction the flow of knowledge and technology is going," he said. "Iran developed a missile called the Shahab 3, which appears to be very similar to the Nodong missile. So there is always the question of whether North Korea gave them parts (or) it gave them help."

The biggest concern for U.S. officials is what this launch means for American security. So far the situation has been that the Taepodong-2 has never had a fully successful launch and there has been no indication that North Korea has the ability to make a nuclear weapon small enough to be a payload on a Taepodong-2.

But on Tuesday, South Korean media reported that the North may be building a bigger, more powerful missile that could carry a bigger payload even farther than the Taepodong-2.

soundoff (172 Responses)
  1. orange near me

    https://pages.audioteka.com/app/rdir.php?rdir=https://ocrv.xyz

    May 15, 2021 at 1:16 am | Reply
  2. houses for sale sandpoint idaho

    Very good write-up. I definitely appreciate this website. Thanks!

    https://www.morhipo.com/shared/partnercookie?k=gort&url=https://meganleary.com/

    May 15, 2021 at 1:06 am | Reply
  3. realtor coeur d alene

    http://j-friends.jp/cgi/search/rank.cgi?mode=link&id=8555&url=https://meganleary.com/

    May 14, 2021 at 10:46 pm | Reply
  4. Myopia Control

    https://joomluck.com/go/?https://arizonasvision.com/

    May 14, 2021 at 8:55 pm | Reply
  5. realtor sandpoint id

    https://www.matomex.com/dir/rank.cgi?mode=link&id=1406&url=https://www.meganleary.com

    May 14, 2021 at 8:46 pm | Reply
  6. 3 bedroom houses for sale near me

    https://assine.hostnet.com.br/cadastro/?rep=17&url=https://meganleary.com/

    May 14, 2021 at 8:00 pm | Reply
  7. Vsp Providers For Glasses

    http://wtk.db.com/777554543598768/optout?redirect=https://arizonasvision.com/

    May 14, 2021 at 4:52 pm | Reply
  8. RV Kitchen Orange County

    The next time I read a blog, I hope that it doesn't disappoint me as much as this one. After all, I know it was my choice to read, but I really thought you'd have something interesting to talk about. All I hear is a bunch of complaining about something you could fix if you were not too busy searching for attention.

    http://www.wildbrain.com/redirect.php?url=http://youtube.com/channel/UCGb9aC76nAmfzNsCru2KBHA/videos

    May 14, 2021 at 12:19 pm | Reply
  9. remodeling motorhome interior

    https://www.newsletter.viamedica.pl/lt.php?c=1282&m=2481&nl=6&lid=20647&l=https://ocrv.us/motorhome-maintenance-near-me

    May 14, 2021 at 10:46 am | Reply
  10. trailer body repair

    I could not refrain from commenting. Perfectly written!

    http://p113831.typo3server.info/index.php?id=34&type=0&jumpurl=http://youtube.com/watch?v=cYrJx6hWkqY

    May 14, 2021 at 10:04 am | Reply
  11. click here

    Excellent article. I certainly appreciate this site. Keep writing!

    May 14, 2021 at 5:41 am | Reply
  12. RV Technician Riverside

    Good site you have got here.. It’s hard to find high quality writing like yours these days. I really appreciate individuals like you! Take care!!

    http://www.djaba.ru/bitrix/redirect.php?event1=&event2=&event3=&goto=http://g.page/ocrvcenter/

    May 14, 2021 at 5:23 am | Reply
  13. RV Steps California

    http://topnews.com.br/parceiro.php?id=6&url=http://youtube.com/channel/UCCWA5o3d2u11KvEjA3wLVUA/videos

    May 14, 2021 at 2:27 am | Reply
  14. 2006 Sprinter Tank Fuel Pump Repair

    This is a very good tip especially to those new to the blogosphere. Brief but very accurate info… Thank you for sharing this one. A must read post!

    https://s5.histats.com/stats/r.php?869637&100&47794&urlr=&fleetrepairshops.com/luxury-sprinter-van-shop-near-me

    May 13, 2021 at 9:43 pm | Reply
  15. RV Collision Repair California

    http://localbusiness.houmatoday.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=yelp.com/biz/ocrv-center-yorba-linda

    May 13, 2021 at 6:53 pm | Reply
  16. auto repair shop la palma

    https://uhr.rutgers.edu/download/135?url=https://ocrv.org/motorhome-maintenance-near-me

    May 13, 2021 at 2:59 pm | Reply
  17. paint shops around me

    Pretty! This was a really wonderful article. Thanks for supplying this information.

    https://www.oic.or.th/sites/all/modules/pubdlcnt/pubdlcnt.php?file=http://youtube.com/watch?v=FhHK3C–2HE

    May 13, 2021 at 10:30 am | Reply
  18. geico commercial horse

    http://czech-guide.aspone.cz/language.aspx?culture=cs-CZ&ReturnUrl=http://youtube.com/watch?v=YWko9kf_e0Q

    May 13, 2021 at 8:39 am | Reply
  19. progressive repair shop

    http://happylife.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrv.club/class-6-truck-collision-repair-paint-shop-near-me-orange-county

    May 13, 2021 at 8:32 am | Reply
  20. custom shops near me

    You made some really good points there. I checked on the internet for additional information about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this website.

    http://localbusiness.nwfdailynews.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrv.info/rv-repair-shop-fountain-valley-california

    May 13, 2021 at 8:13 am | Reply
  21. Rust Repair Sprinter

    You're so interesting! I do not think I have read a single thing like this before. So nice to find someone with some genuine thoughts on this subject. Seriously.. many thanks for starting this up. This web site is one thing that is required on the internet, someone with some originality!

    https://fast.accesstrade.com.vn/deep_link/4498810930962836187?url=https://fleetrepairshops.com/gmc-cargo-van-repair-shop-near-me

    May 13, 2021 at 6:10 am | Reply
  22. RV Interior Remodeling California

    Hello there! This article couldn’t be written much better! Reading through this post reminds me of my previous roommate! He constantly kept talking about this. I am going to send this article to him. Fairly certain he's going to have a good read. Thank you for sharing!

    https://steamsuite.biz/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=yelp.com/biz/ocrv-center-yorba-linda

    May 13, 2021 at 5:49 am | Reply
  23. RV Supplies California

    https://nysales.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=g.page/ocrvcenter

    May 13, 2021 at 4:20 am | Reply
  24. gallery xnxx

    http://metro.cz/_servix/recombee/collector.aspx?recommendation=000000000020-0000-0000-000000000000&page=A200123_121653_veda_pka&url=https://youtube.com/watch?v=P3A8tAQwZRA

    May 13, 2021 at 3:16 am | Reply
  25. rv mattresses near me

    I couldn’t resist commenting. Well written!

    https://trends.gab.com/visit?url=https://ocrv.info/rv-repair-shop-bell-canyon-california

    May 12, 2021 at 11:25 pm | Reply
  26. Sprinter Van Service Near Me

    Excellent article. I absolutely love this site. Continue the good work!

    http://www.cssdrive.com/?URL=sprintervanrepairshop.com/semi-truck-upgrades-shop-near-me

    May 12, 2021 at 7:56 pm | Reply
  27. Release Clip Repair On Mercedes Sprinter Seat

    http://tracing.uniview.com/tracking/?u=guilhen@ecare-security.com&msg=2E812EB8.E26C.4678.8716.95660E17C842.0007.001e38656675d537.3nn6otyh@uniview.com&url=https://commercialvanrepairshop.com/plumber-truck-repair-shop-near-me

    May 12, 2021 at 5:28 pm | Reply
  28. temecula tv repair

    https://d.hodes.com/r/tp2?e=se&tv=pixel_tracker&aid=homedepot&p=web&se_ca=anonymous&se_ac=click&se_la=ccuid&u=https://youtube.com/watch?v=rSnguf98IuQ

    May 12, 2021 at 4:05 pm | Reply
  29. RV Generator Los Angeles

    I was pretty pleased to find this page. I want to to thank you for ones time just for this fantastic read!! I definitely appreciated every little bit of it and i also have you bookmarked to check out new things on your site.

    http://www.greektheatrela.net/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=www.yelp.com/biz/ocrv-center-anaheim-4

    May 12, 2021 at 1:10 pm | Reply
  30. commercial truck body shop near me

    http://www.historisches-festmahl.de/go.php?url=https://ocrv.info/industrial-bus-collision-repair-shop-near-me

    May 12, 2021 at 12:59 pm | Reply
  31. custom rv paint

    https://www.vasabladet.fi/ViewSwitcher/SwitchView?mobile=False&returnUrl=https://youtube.com/watch?v=z3icc3y3DsY

    May 12, 2021 at 11:43 am | Reply
  32. rv washing near me

    I couldn’t refrain from commenting. Very well written!

    http://www.semex.com/popurl.cgi?url=https://youtube.com/watch?v=6kCvpS7KUfE

    May 12, 2021 at 10:39 am | Reply
  33. RV Tires Los Angeles

    http://www.websiteshadow.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=g.page/ocrvcenter

    May 12, 2021 at 9:32 am | Reply
  34. xvideos store

    Hi there! I simply would like to offer you a huge thumbs up for your great information you have here on this post. I'll be returning to your blog for more soon.

    holostyak-stb-2021

    May 12, 2021 at 9:05 am | Reply
  35. rv repair and service near me

    Oh my goodness! Impressive article dude! Thank you, However I am having issues with your RSS. I don’t know why I am unable to subscribe to it. Is there anybody else having identical RSS issues? Anybody who knows the answer will you kindly respond? Thanx!!

    http://sitebox.mailus.ru/requestform.php?success=1&referrer=https://ocrv.guru/motorhome-driver-seat-repair-near-me

    May 12, 2021 at 8:54 am | Reply
  36. rv toilet repair

    There's definately a great deal to learn about this subject. I like all the points you have made.

    https://jamesattorney.agilecrm.com/click?u=https://ocrvcenter.co/rv-mechanic-near-me

    May 12, 2021 at 8:29 am | Reply
  37. oc rv dealers

    &Target=2&BannerId=41919&Zoneid=281&Parameters=&cos=Azlan

    May 12, 2021 at 6:52 am | Reply
  38. Mercedes Sprinter Repair Near Me

    Everyone loves it when folks come together and share thoughts. Great blog, continue the good work!

    http://sportadmin.se/SSO/?REF=https://fleetservicesorangecounty.com/van-repair-shop-near-me-3

    May 12, 2021 at 6:38 am | Reply
  39. RV Seats Los Angeles

    A fascinating discussion is worth comment. I do think that you should write more about this subject, it may not be a taboo subject but generally folks don't speak about these issues. To the next! Many thanks!!

    http://elderlawsouthcarolina.net/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=yelp.com/biz/ocrv-center-yorba-linda

    May 12, 2021 at 6:08 am | Reply
  40. trucker jobs near me

    https://router.usconcealedcarry.com/auth/invalidate?redirectTo=https://ocrvcenter.biz/rv-repair-shop-redondo-beach-california

    May 12, 2021 at 2:26 am | Reply
  41. Mercedes Sprinter Repair Shops

    Spot on with this write-up, I seriously think this amazing site needs a lot more attention. I’ll probably be back again to see more, thanks for the information!

    http://lists.websolutions.com/redirector.asp?e=3304943442344678&URL=https://fleetservicesorangecounty.com/wheelchair-van-repair-shop-near-me

    May 11, 2021 at 11:37 pm | Reply
  42. RV Body Shop Near Me

    I truly love your blog.. Great colors & theme. Did you develop this site yourself? Please reply back as I’m trying to create my own blog and would love to know where you got this from or just what the theme is called. Appreciate it!

    https://www.sjcgov.us/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=g.page/OCRVFleetServices

    May 11, 2021 at 11:23 pm | Reply
  43. national interstate rv insurance

    There's definately a lot to find out about this subject. I love all the points you made.

    https://www.fms.treas.gov/fmsweb/disclaimer.jsp?ciURL=https://ocrvcenter.net/rv-repair-shop-carson-california

    May 11, 2021 at 10:48 pm | Reply
  44. trailer shops near me

    https://dealers.webasto.com/UnauthorizedAccess.aspx?Result=denied&Url=https://ocrvcenter.co/rv-repair-shop-lake-balboa-california

    May 11, 2021 at 10:29 pm | Reply
  45. Mercedes Sprinter Repair Shops Near Me

    I blog quite often and I seriously appreciate your information. This great article has really peaked my interest. I'm going to bookmark your website and keep checking for new details about once per week. I opted in for your Feed as well.

    https://monitor.clickcease.com/tracker/tracker?id=Tcmwi3RgKQiVSy&kw=yahoobacklinks&nw=g&url=https://commercialrepairshop.com/van-repair-shop-near-me-2

    May 11, 2021 at 10:10 pm | Reply
  46. how to repair rv fiberglass exterior damage

    http://www.ci.pittsburg.ca.us/redirect.aspx?url=https://ocrv.org/tank-truck-collision-repair-shop-near-me

    May 11, 2021 at 8:57 pm | Reply
  47. RV Batteries Near Me

    http://bact.info/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=instagram.com/ocrvcenter

    May 11, 2021 at 8:36 pm | Reply
  48. Google Marketing Quotes

    Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you writing this article plus the rest of the site is also very good.

    http://streamway.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=searchinteraction.com

    May 11, 2021 at 4:49 pm | Reply
  49. Digital Marketing Specialist

    http://page.yicha.cn/tp/j.y?detail&url=http://affordableranking.com

    May 11, 2021 at 4:18 pm | Reply
  50. Social Media Marketing Company California

    This is the perfect website for anyone who wishes to understand this topic. You know so much its almost tough to argue with you (not that I actually would want to…HaHa). You certainly put a brand new spin on a subject that's been discussed for ages. Great stuff, just great!

    http://leisurecentre.com/jobs/home/loadwelsh?url=http://orangecountysocialmediamarketingexperts.com

    May 11, 2021 at 4:11 pm | Reply
  51. Internet Marketing Firm Near Me

    https://scalventurepartners.net/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=www.affordableranking.com

    May 11, 2021 at 8:24 am | Reply
  52. Content Marketing Reviews

    https://www.intellicook.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=www.affordableranking.com

    May 11, 2021 at 8:11 am | Reply
  53. Local Marketing Pros

    http://redirects.tradedoubler.com/utm/td_redirect.php?td_keep_old_utm_value=1&url=http://affordableranking.com

    May 11, 2021 at 2:56 am | Reply
  54. Content Marketing Agency

    This website definitely has all of the information and facts I needed about this subject and didn’t know who to ask.

    https://gladbeck.de/ExternerLink.asp?ziel=affordableranking.com

    May 10, 2021 at 9:14 pm | Reply
  55. Content Marketing Event

    https://e-learningpartner.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=affordableranking.com

    May 10, 2021 at 5:48 pm | Reply
  56. Video Marketing Programs

    https://kellyrenehurd.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=affordableranking.com

    May 9, 2021 at 8:41 pm | Reply
  57. Social Media Marketing Agency Orange County

    https://www.coalitionofleadinghealthsystems.net/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=affordableranking.com

    May 9, 2021 at 3:02 pm | Reply
  58. RV Interior Designer Near Me

    Excellent blog you have got here.. It’s hard to find excellent writing like yours these days. I truly appreciate individuals like you! Take care!!

    https://smoner.com/hntJBeK

    May 9, 2021 at 1:56 pm | Reply
  59. Video Marketing Services

    Greetings! Very helpful advice in this particular post! It's the little changes that produce the most significant changes. Thanks a lot for sharing!

    https://acmplatinamerica.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=affordableranking.com

    May 9, 2021 at 9:27 am | Reply
  60. RV Parts Los Angeles

    https://dz4link.com/MELRNa9

    May 9, 2021 at 6:25 am | Reply
  61. Digital Marketing Agency Irvine

    Hi, I do believe this is a great site. I stumbledupon it 😉 I am going to return yet again since i have saved as a favorite it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue to guide other people.

    https://www.amahits.de/?wptouch_switch=mobile&redirect=http3A2F2Faffordableranking.com

    May 9, 2021 at 5:35 am | Reply
  62. Digital Marketing Association

    https://ok7233.zzum.kr/shop/bannerhit.php?bn_id=5&url=http3A2F2Faffordableranking.com

    May 9, 2021 at 3:37 am | Reply
1 2

Leave a Reply to Elmer Schoettmer


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.