At a military parade on Monday, North Korea unveiled what seemed to be a new type of solid-fuel missile beside the country’s largest-known intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), according to photographs released by DPRK official media on Tuesday.
The new missile seemed to be based on North Korea’s Pukguksong solid-fuel missile family.
According to Ankit Panda, Stanton Senior Fellow in the Nuclear Policy Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the new missile appears to be one of the Pukguksong family, most likely a Pukguksong-6.
The new missile seemed to be very close in size to the Pukguksong-5 and Pukguksong-4, two variants of the Pukguksong series that North Korea has yet to test-fire.
The Pukguksong-3 was launched in October 2019 and an unspecified submarine ballistic missile (SLBM) in October 2021.
Panda claims that Kim Jong Un wants solid-fuel ICBMs as part of his modernisation goal at the Eighth Party Congress.
Last night’s parade missile, according to Yang Uk, a research fellow at Seoul’s Asan Institute for Policy Studies, was a new sort of Pukguksong.
The missile looks to be longer in total than the Pukguksong-5. The fact that the new missile is longer than its trailer, according to Yang, indicates that the weapon on exhibit last night was significantly longer than previously unveiled missiles.
According to the state press, the precise number of Hwasong-17s at the parade remained unknown. The Hwasong-17 was originally revealed during a military parade in North Korea in October 2020, with a report from the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) claiming a successful test-launch of the missile on March 24.
North Korea also displayed hypersonic gliding missiles on Monday, including the Hwasong-8, which was tested in September 2021, as well as other weapons such as a new, unnamed maneuverable reentry vehicle-toting medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM), as well as the KN-24 and KN-23 short-range ballistic missiles (SRBM).