North Korea is preparing to launch a long range missile and a few mid-range ones as early as this month, South Korean media reports say.
Following is a look at the North's missile program:
THE ARSENAL - North Korea has well over 1,000 missiles of various ranges. It has sold missiles and missile technology overseas, with Iran being one of the large buyers. The North has more than 800 ballistic missiles -- including 600 Scud missiles of various types and 200 Rodong missiles. A U.N. resolution bans it from launching ballistic missiles.
SHORT-RANGE - North Korea has hundreds of non-ballistic missiles with ranges of 150 km (95 miles) or less. These include surface-to-air and surface-to-ship missiles. It fired a barrage of these missiles last week. There are no international agreements that bar it from test-launching these missiles.
SCUD TYPE - These include the Hwasong-5, with a range of about 300 km and the Hwasong-6, with a range of about 500 km. It first test-fired a Scud-B type missile in April 1984. The North has steadily improved the ability of its Scuds to carry heavier warheads.
RODONG TYPE - The Rodong, first test-fired in 1993 and operationally deployed in 1998, has an estimated range of 1,000 to 1,400 km. It can hit all of South Korea and most of Japan.
IRBM - North Korea recently deployed a new type of mid-range ballistic missile that can travel about 3,000 km (1,865 miles). The unnamed intermediate range ballistic missile (IRBM) has a range that puts U.S. military bases in Guam at risk.
TAEPODONG TYPE - The Taepodong-1 is a multi-stage missile with an estimated range of 2,000 to 2,500 km. It uses liquid fuel and was fired over Japan in 1998.
The Taepodong-2 was first test-launched in July 2006 and flew for about 40 seconds before it blew apart. It is a multi-stage missile with a possible range of 6,700 km. Another version was launched in April and flew about 3,000 km before splashing into the sea. Analysts said that test showed the North had extended the range of its missiles but was still years away from building one that could strike the United States with a warhead.
The Taepodong-X is a solid fuel missile under development with an estimated range of 2,500 to 4,000 km.
North Korea does not have an operational missile that can hit the continental United States.
ACCURACY AND PAYLOAD - Most analysts agree North Korea is some time away from building a nuclear warhead small enough to fit on a missile. The accuracy of the mid- to long-range missiles is also suspect.
(Sources: Center for Nonproliferation Studies, South Korean Defense Ministry, Rand)
(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz, Jack Kim and Kim Junghyun, Editing by Sanjeev Miglani)