Fireworks Rundown

So you were wondering what it was the North Koreans fired off on July 4 this year. Yeah, me too. Here’s what the South Korean press has been reporting.

According to “Joongang Ilbo”:, it was all in a day’s work:

bq. South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff confirmed Saturday that North Korea launched two missiles between 8 a.m. and 8:30 a.m., with a third following at 10:45 a.m. and a fourth at noon. The North then launched one each at 2:50 p.m., 4:10 p.m. and 5:40 p.m.

That makes seven.

Citing _Chosun Ilbo,_ the Associated Press “breaks out the types”: as follows:

bq.. On Monday, South Korea’s mass-circulation Chosun Ilbo newspaper reported the launches were believed to have included three Scud-ER missiles with a range of up to 620 miles (1,000 kilometers).

The paper said the Scud-ER has a longer range and better accuracy compared with previous Scud series so is “particularly a threat to Japan.”


The Chosun Ilbo, citing a government source it did not name, said the other four missiles were two Scud-C missiles with a range of 310 miles (500 kilometers) and two medium-range Rodong missiles that can travel up to 810 miles (1,300 kilometers).

Five of the seven missiles flew about 260 miles (420 kilometers) from an eastern coastal launch site [Kittaeryong] and landed in one area, meaning their accuracy has improved, the paper said.

p. Now, for comparison, let’s roll back the clock to July 5, 2006. According to the July 2006 issue of _IISS Strategic Comments_, on that occasion, they launched the following items (as “assessed” by someone) from the Kittaeryong base (with one exception):

  1. 0333: Scud-D
  2. 0404: No-dong
  3. 0501: Taepo-dong 2 (from Musudan-ri)
  4. 0712: Scud-C
  5. 0731: No-dong
  6. 0732: Scud-ER / No-dong
  7. 1720: No-dong
All times are local.

(What’s a Scud-D, you ask, if it’s not a Scud-ER or a Nodong? I’m not sure. The naming conventions are very messy.)

So once again, seven launches, and setting aside the TD-2, the types were similar. But in 2009, the DPRK missile crews were allowed to sleep in for awhile. No pre-dawn launches.

One final note. The “Korea Times”: has an estimate of how many theater missiles North Korea has:

bq. The North is believed to have about 1,000 ballistic missiles alone — including nearly 700 Scud missiles of various types and 320 Rodong missiles.

It sounds like the DPRK has plenty of provocations in its quiver.

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