North Korea Test Fires Missiles

Steve Inskeep and Lynn Neary report on the latest news from the test-firing of missiles by North Korea.

Copyright © 2006 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

LYNN NEARY, host:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Lynn Neary.

STEVE INSKEEP, host:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

Here's the latest we know about the missiles that North Korea has been spraying beyond its borders.

NEARY: The U.S. military says North Korea fired half a dozen missiles, and then today, Japan and South Korea reported a seventh missile launch.

INSKEEP: One of the missiles was a Taepodong-2. In theory, it could reach the United States, though in practice it failed about 40 second after liftoff.

NEARY: North Korea's missile program is closely watched because the country says it also has nuclear weapons. The testing is the latest development in a decade's old program to deliver weapons at long range.

Here's a timeline.

INSKEEP: The missile program began in the early 1960s in cooperation with the former Soviet Union.

NEARY: It continued in the 1970s with technical assistance from China.

INSKEEP: Today, incidentally, Russia and China are two of the nations trying to contain the North Korean threat.

NEARY: Experts say North Korea built hundreds of missiles that could reach South Korea or Japan.

INSKEEP: Then, in 1998, North Korea tested a long-range missile.

NEARY: Later, the North Koreans agreed to a moratorium on testing.

INSKEEP: And that moratorium has apparently ended this week.

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