HomeAsiaFrom hypersonics to workhorse weapons, North Korea showcases missile diversity

From hypersonics to workhorse weapons, North Korea showcases missile diversity


North Korea launched two SRBMs in a uncommon take a look at from an airport in its capital, Pyongyang, on Jan 17.

The pair of missiles “precisely hit an island target” off the east coast, in accordance to state media.

Analysts mentioned the missiles appeared to be KN-24 SRBMs which have been final examined in March 2020 and seem to have entered mass manufacturing and deployment with army models.

The KN-24 resembles the U.S. MGM-140 Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) and, just like the KN-23, is designed to evade missile defences by flying on a flatter trajectory than conventional ballistic missiles.


State media reported two long-range cruise missiles have been fired on Jan 25, travelling 1,800km earlier than hitting a goal island within the sea off North Korea’s east coast.

The cruise missile would play a task in “boosting the war deterrence of the country”, state information company KCNA mentioned.

In September, North Korea examined a brand new “strategic” cruise missile for the primary time, seen as probably the nation’s first such weapon with a nuclear functionality.

Analysts mentioned the newest cruise missile appeared to be comparable, but additionally confirmed indicators of being a doable variant.

North Korea’s cruise missiles normally generate much less curiosity than ballistic missiles as a result of they don’t seem to be explicitly banned beneath UN Security Council Resolutions, however analysts say land-attack cruise missiles might be no much less a menace than ballistic missiles.


North Korea first launched the Hwasong-12 IRBM in April 2017, in a take a look at that “pinwheeled” uncontrolled and was thought-about a failure by US and South Korean officers.

Two extra take a look at flights that month additionally led to obvious failure, with the missiles exploding seconds after launch or breaking apart in flight.

The first profitable flight was in May 2017, and North Korea went on to launch two extra Hwasong-12s that 12 months, flying them over the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido.

In Sunday’s take a look at, North Korea mentioned it fired the missile on an elevated trajectory “in consideration of the safety of neighbouring countries”.

The take a look at “confirmed the accuracy, safety, and operational effectiveness of the produced Hwasong-12 type weapon system”, KCNA mentioned. South Korea reported the missile reached an altitude of about 2,000km and flew to a distance of 800km.

The Hwasong-12 has an estimated vary of 4,500km, which might put the US territory of Guam and the far western tip of Alaska’s Aleutian Islands chain inside attain, in accordance to the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies.

It can carry a “large-size heavy nuclear warhead,” in accordance to state media, and in 2017 North Korea threatened to use it to goal Guam with “enveloping fire.”



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