"The missile appearing the still photographs released by KCNA is named “Bukgeungsong-1,” as indicated by the Korean characters on the airframe. Ironically, the name translates to “Polar Star” or “Polaris,” the latter parroting the name of the US Navy’s first-generation SLBM, initially deployed in the early-1960s. The Bukgeungsong-1 has a diameter-to-length ratio similar to that of the Soviet R-27 (4K10; SS-N-6), a sea-launched ballistic missile first deployed during the 1960s. The R-27 has a maximum range of about 2400 kilometers when delivering a 650-kilogram warhead."
"Firstly, the missile was ejected from the launch tube at a slight angle, not vertically. This was likely done to mimic the launch angle required when firing operational missiles that contain a full-propellant load. Indeed, the US and others launch SLBMs at an angle to ensure that if the missile’s main engine fails to ignite, the weapon loaded with volatile propellant does not fall back onto the submarine and explode. North Korea appears to have incorporated the safety protocol"
"Secondly, the missile’s liquid-propellant engine successfully ignited, demonstrating that the sequence and timing of events was nominally correct."
"employing a mock-up rather than a complete missile suggests that the test objectives were limited to evaluating the mechanism responsible for ejecting the missile from an underwater-launch tube, safely activating the missile’s propulsion system and stabilizing the missile as it accelerates upward."
An archive of news and resources on East Asian security. Rather than adhering to a particular political agenda, this archive aims to bring together diverse and insightful resources found while conducting research.