The Hwasong 7 (Nodong 1) is a North Korean medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM). It has a range of at least 1,200 km, and served as the design basis for the Iranian Shahab-3 MRBM and Pakistan’s Hatf-7 Ghauri.
Hwasong 7 (Nodong 1) at a Glance
- Originated from
- North Korea
- Alternate names
- Hwasong-7, No Dong 1, Rodong 1
- Possessed by
- North Korea
- Medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM)
- 16.2 m
- 1.36 m
- Launch weight
- 16,500 kg
- Single warhead, 1200 kg
- Single stage, liquid propellant
- 1,200 – 1,500 km
- In service
Nodong 1 Development
North Korea began developing the Nodong 1 in the mid 1980s and conducted its first flight test in 1993. The Nodong 1 entered serial production in 1994 and entered North Korean service in 1995. In 2006, the United States estimated that North Korea’s inventory of Nodong 1 missiles was approximately 200, and by 2009 this stockpile had grown to 300; in 2020, however, U.S. intelligence reports estimated that Pyongyang fielded less than 100 Nodong launch vehicles.1 North Korea conducted its latest flight test of the Nodong 1 in September 2016, firing three missiles from the country’s west coast into the Sea of Japan.2
Date Number Launched Notes September 5, 2016 3 Distance traveled: 1,000 km. August 3, 2016 1 March 25, 2014 2 Distance traveled: 650 km. July 2009 2 July 5, 2006 2 May 1993 2 Distance traveled: 482 km. June 1992 1 August 1991 1 May 1990 1
Nodong 1 Specifications
Reports of the Nodong 1’s range varies, with most approximations falling between 1,200 and 1,500 km.3 The accuracy of the missile is estimated to be 2,000 m circular error probable (CEP) when deployed at maximum range. It is believed to be 16.2 m in length, 1.36 m in diameter, and possessing a launch weight of 16,500 kg. It is equipped with a 1,200 kg separating warhead that could incorporate an 800 kg payload.4 The Nodong 1 is transported on a Russian-produced MAZ 543 five-axle truck, with local modifications to support its launch operations.5
The capabilities of the Nodong missile are such that it can only effectively be used against large, soft targets like cities, airports, or harbors. Its range is sufficient to put parts of Japan within striking distance. However, the accuracy is extremely low for modern missiles and likely ineffective against hardened military targets, unless it was equipped with a nuclear warhead. 6
Nodong 1 Exports and Derivatives
North Korea has transferred the Nodong design to Iran and Pakistan. Both countries, which supported the missile’s development effort, produce missiles nearly identical to the Nodong 1: the Shahab-3 and Ghauri. Pakistan and Iran have also directly imported North Korean-built Nodong missiles, taking delivery of 12 to 25 and 150 missiles, respectively.7 Iraq, Eqypt, Syria, and Libya are all believed to have negotiated to obtain the missile at some point, though there are no confirmed exports to these countries.8
- Military Strategy and Operational Requirements: Hearing before the Committee on Armed Services, Senate, 109th Cong., 2, (2006) (statement by General B. B. Bell, Commander, United States Forces Korea); Jane’s Strategic, 59; Defense Intelligence Ballistic Missile Analysis Committee, Ballistic and Cruise Missile Threat 2020 (Wright-Patterson AFB, OH: National Air and Space Intelligence Center, July 2020).
- James Griffiths and K.J Kwon, “North Korea fires 3 ballistic missiles; Japan calls it ‘serious threat,'” CNN, September 5, 2016, https://www.cnn.com/2016/09/05/asia/north-korea-ballistic-missiles.
- John Schilling and Henry Kan, “The Future of North Korean Nuclear Delivery Systems,” U.S.-Korea Institute at SAIS, April 2015, http://38north.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/NKNF_Delivery-Systems.pdf; “No Dong 1/2,” in IHS Jane’s Weapons: Strategic 2015-2016, 58.
- Jane’s Strategic, 58.
- Jaewoo Shin and Xu Tianran, “Viewbook of DPRK Missiles,” Datayo, October 9, 2020, https://datayo.org/p/stories/9aHjux4Qt-xxef_K/viewbook-of-dprk-missiles.
- “CNS Special Report on North Korean Ballistic Missile Capabilities,” Center for Nonproliferation Studies, Monterey Institute of International Studies, March 22, 2006, http://nautilus.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/0623.pdf
- Guarav Kampani, “Second Tier Proliferation: The Case of Pakistan and North Korea,” The Nonproliferation Review 9, no. 3 (Fall 2002)
- Jane’s Strategic, 58.