Chiha-ri Missile Base

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Last Updated: April 1, 2003
Other Name: 지하리 미사일 기지, Chiha-ri Taepodong Base, Chiha-ri Technical Support Base, Chihari Missile Base, Jiha-ri Missile Base, Jihari Missile Base
Location: Chiha-ri (지하리), P'an'gyo-kun (판교군), Kangwŏn Province (강원도), North Korea
Subordinate To: Missile Division (미사일 사단), Ministry of the People's Armed Forces (인민무력성), National Defense Commission (국방위원회)
Size: Unknown
Facility Status: Active

The Chiha-ri base functions both as a missile brigade support base and as a launch facility. As a technical support base, Chiha-ris function is to maintain, repair and refurbish operational missiles. The engineers and technicians here likely perform duties similar to those of personnel at Iraq's Taji facility. It is conceivable that support and launch functions are both located at Chiha-ri.

In June 1990, US satellite imagery reportedly revealed the construction of two missile launch sites near the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). Although the locations were not revealed, they were probably Chiha-ri and Sariwŏn. There is another missile base near the DMZ at Shin'gye-kun, but Scuds were reportedly deployed to Shin'gye-kun in 1988. Therefore, Shin'gye-kun is excluded as a possibility for the June 1990 imagery. The two launch sites were believed to be for Hwasŏng-5 (Scud-B) missiles in the early 1990s.

In November 1998, North Korea was reportedly building a launch facility for the Paektusan-1 at Chiha-ri, but it is not clear if this is a replacement for, or an addition to, the Hwasŏng launch site. Therefore, Chiha-ri may be capable of launching Hwasŏngs, Nodongs, and the Paektusan-1.

[1] Dana Priest and Thomas W. Lippman, "N. Korea Expanding Missile Programs," Washington Post, 20 November 1998, p. A1, in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe,;
[2] Bill Gertz; "North Korea Builds 2 Missile Launch Sites," Washington Times, 14 June 1990, in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe,;
[3] Lee Jun, "Pukhan Missile Kiji Tugot Kŏnsŏlchung'indŭt/Il Pangwich'ŏng, Yong'ŏdong Chihari Chimok," Chosun Ilbo, 24 December 1998, p. 1, in KINDS,;
[4] Yun Sang Sam, "Puk Yong'ŏdongchihari'e Missile Kiji Kŏnsŏlchung," Donga Ilbo, 24 December 1998, p. 10, in KINDS,;
[5] "N. Korea May Have deployed Rodong-1," Daily Yomiuri, 3 January 1999, in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe,;
[6] Hwang Yŏng Shik, "[Pukhan Taepodong Missile] 'Sae Chihabalsagiji Kŏnsŏl Kanŭngsŏng'," Hankook Ilbo, 4 January 1999, p. 1, in KINDS,;
[7] "Puk, Changgŏri'p'o Chŏnbangjiyŏk Chŭnggangbaech'i/Kukpangbu," Taehan Maeil, 25 June 1993, p. 3, in KINDS,

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This material is produced independently for NTI by the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of and has not been independently verified by NTI or its directors, officers, employees, or agents. Copyright 2019.