skip to main content

Update: North Korea says it test-launched new SLBM on 19 October

Images released by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) indicate that Pyongyang tested what appears to have been a new short-range submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) on 19 October.

The weapon's design appears to be similar to that of the 9M723 missile series used by the Russian-made Iskander short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) system.

According to KCNA the β€œnew SLBM type”, a model of which appears to have been unveiled at a defence exhibition held on 11 October in Pyongyang, was test-launched by the country's Academy of Defence Science from the same submarine – referred to as β€˜ 8.24 Yongung ' – the country said it used to conduct its first SLBM test from a submarine in 2016.

No further details were provided, but the KCNA released an image showing a submarine bearing the number β€˜824' on its sail. North Korea is known to operate one Gorae-class diesel-electric ballistic missile submarine (SSB), which it has used as an experimental testbed rather than a full SSB. This 66.75 m long diesel-electric boat, which was first seen in 2014, has a small rectangular opening containing one missile tube, according to Janes Fighting Ships .

This submarine is believed to have been used to test-launch North Korea's Pukkuksong-1/Bukgeukseong-1 (known in South Korea as the KN-11) SLBM, which flew about 500 km when it was tested on 24 August 2016.

Referring to the latest SLBM launch, the South Korean military reported on 19 October that the missile travelled about 590 km and reached an altitude of about 60 km. The weapon was launched from waters off North Korea's eastern port city of Sinpo where both a naval base and a naval shipyard are located.

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...