Still, Western experts have learned a fair bit about Pyongyang's stable of rockets and missiles over the years by analyzing test flights, satellite photos and other data. Here are five of the most interesting things they've figured out.
FIRST STOP: Soviet Origins of Missiles
NEXT: Poor Accuracy
A missile called the Nodong can fly 620 miles to 800 miles (1,000 to 1,300 km), but its estimated accuracy is even worse — 1.8 to 2.5 miles (3 to 4 km). Such missiles can't reliably hit military targets, but they can certainly strike larger targets such as cities.
NEXT: Iran's Help
NEXT: Satellite Success
This breakthrough came after three consecutive failures — one in 1998, one in 2009 and another in April 2012. North Korean officials didn't always admit to these mishaps, however. For example, they claimed that the Kwangmyongsong-1 ("Bright Star 1") satellite reached orbit in 1998 and broadcast patriotic songs into space. [Unha-3 Rocket Explained (Infographic)]
NEXT: Nuclear Warheads Possible
While the rogue nation's nuclear-weapons program is thought to be at a relatively primitive stage, Pyongyang may indeed already possess warheads small enough to be carried large distances by a ballistic missile, experts say. "Having something that's around 1,000 kilograms, or maybe somewhat smaller than that, unfortunately does not seem impossible," Wright told SPACE.com. "We don't really know, but I think you have to take seriously that they could well be there."
Most analysts doubt, however, that North Korean missiles are powerful enough to deliver a nuclear weapon to the American mainland. The tough talk from Pyongyang is primarily bluster aimed at wringing concessions out of the international community and building support for young leader Kim Jong-Un at home, they say.