Factbox: North Korea’s submarine-launched missiles


SEOUL, Oct 19 (Reuters) – North Korea take a look at fired what gave the impression to be a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) on Tuesday, South Korea mentioned.

It could be the most recent step in nuclear-armed North Korea’s efforts to area SLBMs, that are seen as a potent nuclear deterrent as a result of they are often tough to detect or destroy.

Analysts and officers in South Korea imagine the nation is constructing an operational ballistic missile submarine.

Here are the SLBMs that North Korea has displayed or examined, often from submersible barges quite than from a submarine.


Starting in 2014, North Korea has performed 5 flight assessments of the KN-11, and nicely as quite a few different assessments of the missile’s ejection mechanism and different subsystems, based on the U.S.-based Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Several of the primary assessments appeared to fail, earlier than a primary profitable take a look at in 2016.

Analysts estimated the missile’s vary to be about 1,200 kilometres.

North Korea has additionally take a look at fired a Pukguksong-2, thought-about a land-based variant of the Pukguksong-1.


Before Tuesday, North Korea’s final SLBM take a look at was in October 2019, when a Pukguksong-3 missile was fired from an underwater platform, flying 450km to a most altitude of 910km.

Like its predecessor, the Pukguksong-3 seems to have two phases powered by stable gasoline.

The missile has “a cold-launch” system that makes use of pressurized gasoline to eject it from a submarine or different launch tube.

“After surfacing, the missile ejects its rear engine cover and ignites its main booster,” CSIS says in a abstract of the Pukguksong-3.


At a navy parade in October 2020, North Korea unveiled a beforehand unseen SLBM that was dubbed the Pukguksong-4.

It gave the impression to be about the identical dimension because the Pukguksong-3, and its capabilities stay unclear.

“If the new SLBM is intended to be deployed, it may be intended for the new conventionally powered ballistic missile submarine that North Korea hinted at building in July 2019,” analysts on the U.S.-based 38 North programme, which tracks North Korea, said at the time.


Another beforehand unseen SLBM, designated the Pukguksong-5, was displayed at a navy parade in January.

Few particulars on its capabilities may very well be gleaned from its outward look, and its dimensions gave the impression to be corresponding to earlier designs, 38 North mentioned in a report.

“These dimensional similarities indicate North Korea is still in the process of settling on a specific design for its next-generation SLBM,” it mentioned.


At an uncommon navy present opened in Pyongyang final week, North Korea displayed a beforehand unseen missile subsequent to its different SLBMs.

The thriller missile is smaller than its different SLBMs, probably presenting a better pathway to an operational ballistic missile submarine, analysts mentioned. South Korea has not too long ago demonstrated a standard SLBM launched from a submarine.

Reporting by Josh Smith. Editing by Gerry Doyle

People watch a TV broadcasting file footage of a news report on North Korea firing a ballistic missile off its east coast, in Seoul, South Korea, October 19, 2021. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji