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North Korea claims test firing of new anti-ship missile

A graphic of the Sea Eagle-6 anti-ship missile that was launched by North Korea on 14 February 2024. (Janes)

North Korea claimed on 15 February that it successfully test-fired a new type of anti-ship missile known as the Padasuri-6 (Sea Eagle-6).

The test firing was conducted on the morning of 14 February and was witnessed by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, state-owned Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) disclosed in a statement the next day.

The weapon flew over the Sea of Japan (East Sea) for about 1,400 seconds before hitting a designated target vessel, read the KCNA statement.

According to further information provided in the statement, Kim expressed an intention to re-organise North Korea's coastal missile battalions, given the missile test has been deemed a success.

Kim also reportedly stressed the need for Pyongyang to defend its maritime territories above the Northern Limit Line against any “adventurous attempt of the enemy navy”, presumably in reference to the Republic of Korea Navy.

In particular, Kim highlighted waters north of Yeonpyeong Island and Baengnyeong Island as being especially vulnerable to invasion by “enemy vessels” including destroyers, escort ships, and speedboats.

Accompanying the KCNA statement were images purportedly taken at the test firing on 14 February. A brief forensic examination by Janes suggests that these images have not been digitally manipulated.

These images indicate that the Sea Eagle-6 missile is designed with cruciform wings and fins and a slightly recessed air duct intake near its pectoral fins. The weapon's initial propulsion is provided by what is likely to be a solid fuel rocket booster.

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