The Unha-3 and similar vehicles ability to launch a nuclear warhead accurately over long distances appears minimal at this time.
The Unha-3 is a three stage rocket that can carry an approximately 220 lb. satellite into about a 310
mile high polar orbit. It launch site is on North Korea's west coast.
The Unha-3 has the same design as its predecessor that did not have the range necessary to carry a nuclear
warhead to the United States.
Fuel for its engines consists of two hypergolic liquids which, when mixed together, react violently resulting in a controlled explosion.
Its first stage is based on a 1957 Soviet design that was used as a second stage for their long range rockets. In order for such a design
to have intercontinental range, it would need substantial redesign, including a much more powerful first stage rocket.
Unha-3 accuracy can materialize with further development and testing. The closest neighbors of North Korea, especially South Korea
and Japan, would first come into range of such a weapon.
The Unha-3 appears to have had its first successful launch of a space satellite on December 12, 2012.
An Unha-3 was unsuccessfully launched on April 12, 2012. It was to be used to launch a 220 lb. scientific
weather and mapping satellite, according to their government representatives.
Previously, North Korea had agreed to stop its Unha-3 launching and nuclear ambitions in exchange for food deliveries. North Korea doesn't believe that
their satellite launch Unha-3 is a violation of the agreement inasmuch as it is not intended as a weapon.
However, it is widely believed that the Unha-3 launch was to be a way for the country to gather further information on long range missiles with
the ability to fly to targets around the world. This is especially distressing because North Korea possesses nuclear weapons, but still has not
developed the ability to deliver them by the Unha-3.
The Unha-3 was unsuccessfully tested in July of 2006 when it failed, after less than a minute of flight. On April 5, 2009 an
Unha-3 launch took place, but it was unable to place a satellite into orbit.
In 2014 tests began on engines to power a 3,400 mile range mobile launch Unha-3 type rocket.
ICBM - H. Stine
Competing with the Soviets - Audra J. Wolfe
Rockets & People - Volumes 2 & 3 - Boris Chertok & Asif A. Siddiq
Countdown - T. A. Heppenheimer
Sputnik - Matthew Brzezinski
Inside a Soviet ICBM Silo Complex - John R. Matzko
Reconsidering Sputnik - Roger D. Lanius, John M. Logsdon, Robert W. Smith
Rockets & Revolution - Michael G. Smith
Rocketry - Carla Mooney & Caitlin Denham
History of Liquid Propellant Rocket Engines - George Sutton
Space Race - Deborah Cadbury
Rocket Science - Gloria Skurzynski
Russian Spacecraft - Robert Godwin
Space Systems Failures - David M. Harland & Ralph Lorenz