North Korea, which fired a long-range rocket Sunday, has for decades been developing missiles both for what it terms self-defence and as a lucrative export commodity. The hardline communist North said it was launching a communications satellite as part of a peaceful space programme, and the South Korean government said a satellite was aboard the rocket. The United States and its allies say the launch is a pretext to test its longest-range missile, the Taepodong-2, in defiance of UN resolutions. The North's missile programme began in the late 1970s and early 1980s, when it started working on a version of the Soviet Scud-B with a range of 300 kilometres (187 miles). This was tested in 1984 and deployment began later that decade. Between 1987 and 1992, the North began developing a variant of the Scud-C (range 500 km), as well as the Rodong-1 (1,300 km), the Taepodong-1 (2,500 km), the Musudan-1 (3,000 km) and the Taepodong-2 (6,700 km). It has also tested a solid-fuel missile called the KN-02 (120 km), a version of the Soviet SS-21 which is accurate and road-mobile. The Scud-B, Scud-C and Rodong-1 have all been tested successfully. Daniel Pinkston, senior analyst with the International Crisis Group, has said he had information from intelligence agencies that the North has assembled nuclear warheads for the Rodong-1, which could target Japan. Missiles of various types can also deliver high-explosive and chemical warheads and possibly biological weapons. The first and only Taepodong-1 launch took place in August 1998 over Japan. It sparked alarm in Tokyo, but the third stage apparently exploded before it could place a small satellite into orbit, according to Pinkston. In September 1999, amid improving relations with the United States, North Korea declared a moratorium on long-range missile tests. It ended this in March 2005, blaming the "hostile" policy of the George W. Bush administration. The Taepodong-2 was first fired on July 5, 2006, along with six shorter-range missiles, but the largest misisle blew up after 40 seconds. The UN Security Council condemned the 2006 tests and imposed missile-related sanctions. The main security threat is seen as coming from some 800 road-mobile missiles. Of these, about 600 of them are Scuds capable of hitting targets in South Korea, and possibly Japanese territory in some cases. There are another 200 Rodong-1 missiles, which could reach Tokyo. North Korea is thought to have sold hundreds of ballistic missiles to Iran, Iraq, Syria, Pakistan and other countries over the past decade to earn foreign currency, according to a US Congressional Research Service report in 2007. In December 2002 15 Scuds made by North Korea were seized on a ship bound for Yemen.