Hwasong-17, one of North Korea’s five flagship missiles. Photo/KCNA via REUTERS
JAKARTA – North Korea (North Korea) is known as a country that often shows off its military technology, especially missiles to carry nuclear warheads.
For example, in October 2022, the country led by Kim Jong-un test-fired the Hwasong-12 medium-range missile over Japanese territory. This maneuver has been criticized by Japan’s Western allies.
North Korea argues that developing missiles and nuclear weapons is its right as a country to protect itself from foreign invasion.
This country also feels its existence is threatened by the United States (US), which Pyongyang says is implementing hostile policies and often holds joint war games for the purpose of invasion.
5 Mainstay Missiles of North Korea’s Military
1. BM-25 Musudan
Reporting from the Missile Threat page, the BM-25 Musudan or Hwasong-10 is a medium-range ballistic missile. This weapon is estimated to have a range of 2,500–4,000 km with a warhead payload of 500–1,200 kg.
This 12-meter-long missile was likely developed from the Soviet R-27 submarine-launched ballistic missile. North Korea began developing the Musudan missile in 1992. This weapon began entering combat service in 2003.
The Pukguksong-3 missile, also known as KN-26, is a ballistic missile specifically fired from submarines. North Korea announced the appearance of this weapon in 2017 and was only tested in 2019.
This 7-8 meter long missile is estimated to have a firing range of 1,900 km. That makes it the most superior of all the submarine missiles North Korea has.
The Hwasong-14 is considered North Korea’s most powerful intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) since its appearance in 2017. Even though North Korea continues to innovate to develop new missiles carrying nuclear warheads, the existence of the Hwasong-14 is still not replaceable at this time.