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Chosŏn'gŭl 로동1 (northern spelling)
노동1 (southern spelling)
Hancha 蘆洞1
Revised Romanization Rodong-1 / Nodong-1
McCune–Reischauer Rodong-1 / Nodong-1

The Rodong-1 (spelled Nodong-1 or simply Nodong in South Korea) is a single stage, mobile liquid propellant medium range ballistic missile developed by North Korea. Developed in the mid-1980s, it is an adaptation of the Soviet SS-1, more commonly known by its NATO reporting name "Scud".


Estimated maximum range of some North Korean missiles [1]

Rodong (nodong in South Korea) is the Korean word for "labor". It is used in North Korea to denote the working class in Communist ideology, for example in name of the ruling Workers Party (Rodongdang).

It is believed North Korea obtained Scud-B designs from Egypt and possibly Scud-C designs from China, and reverse-engineered them into a larger, longer-distance weapon dubbed the Rodong. U.S. reconnaissance satellites first detected this type in May 1990.[citation needed]

The precise capabilities and specifications of the missile are unknown; even the fact of its production and deployment are controversial. It is a larger variant of the Scud-B, scaled up so its cross-sectional area is about double that of the Scud, with a diameter of 1.25 m and a length of 15.6 m.[2] Its aerodynamic design is stable, so does not require modern guidance systems. It can only be fueled when vertical, so cannot be fueled before transport as is normal for modern missiles.[2] Its range is estimated as 900 km with a 1000 kg payload.[2] It has an estimated CEP of one or two kilometers.[3]

Rodong-1 technology has been exported. Variants are believed to be the basis for Iran's Shahab-3 and Pakistan's Ghauri missiles.

A few Nodong missiles were launched in the 2006 North Korean missile test, and two in a 2014 test over a range of 650 km.[4][5]

The Rodong-1 is one of North Korea's most effective ballistic missiles because it is more difficult to intercept by missile defenses. Although it has an estimated range of 1,000–1,500 km (620–930 mi), launches in March 2014 flew only 650 km (400 mi). Their range was shortened by firing at a higher launch angle, which may enable them to avoid interception. The missiles flew to an altitude of 160 km at Mach 7, while U.S. and South Korean Patriot PAC-2/3 interceptors are more specialized to hit Scud-type missiles up to 40 km high. To counter this, South Korea is indigenously developing the long-range surface-to-air missile (L-SAM), and the U.S. is considering deploying the THAAD missile defense system.[6]

See also


  1. BBC News - How potent are North Korea's threats?
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Markus Schiller (2012). Characterizing the North Korean Nuclear Missile Threat (Report). RAND Corporation. ISBN 978-0-8330-7621-2. TR-1268-TSF. Retrieved 19 January 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. John Schilling, Henry (Long) Kan (2015). The Future of North Korean Nuclear Delivery Systems (PDF) (Report). US-Korea Institute at SAIS. Retrieved 30 April 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "North Korea test-fires 'ballistic' missiles". BBC. 26 March 2014. Retrieved 26 March 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Choe Sang-Hun (25 March 2014). "North Korea Launches Two Midrange Missiles". New York Times. Retrieved 31 March 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. NK's March missile test aimed at evading interceptor systems: sources -, 19 June 2014

External links