Haeseong II

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The Haeseong II is a supersonic, ship-launched land-attack cruise missile. It is South Korea’s first supersonic missile, and the second variant developed within the Haeseong cruise missile series. It has a range of approximately 500 km.

Haeseong II at a Glance

Originated From
South Korea
Possessed By
South Korea
Alternative Names
Tactical Surface Launch Missile (TSLM), Sea Star II
Supersonic land-attack cruise missile
5.5 m
0.45 m
Launch weight
>1,400 kg
Submunitions, semi-armor piercing (SAP)
Turbojet engine
500 km
Supersonic (>343 m/s or >1235 km/hr)
In Service
SL-Haeseong II, 2016-present; VL-Haeseong II, expected 2019

Haeseong II Development

South Korea (ROK) reportedly began testing the Haeseong II in September 2007.1

For reasons unknown, however, South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) pegs the start of development as late as 2011. The ROK Defense Ministry unveiled the missile on February 14, 2013, following a North Korean nuclear test two days earlier.2

The missile was developed by South Korea’s Agency for Defense Development and LIG Nex1.3

The missile was officially developed to target fixed platforms, such as command posts, air bases, and artillery or missile launch pads.4 However, Aviation Week’s Kim Minseok and Bradley Perrett argue that reports strictly referring to Haeseong II as a land-attack cruise missile (LACM) appear to be political cover, as the missile “would surely be fired at any suitable targets that had to be eliminated.”5

According to one ROK acquisitions official, the missile will “serve as key maritime equipment for the South Korean military’s ‘Kill Chain’ pre-emptive strike system against North Korean provocations.”6

Two variants of the missile have been developed. The slant-launched version (SL-Haeseong II), which entered operational service in 2016, is launched from inclined shipboard canisters.7

South Korea also completed development of a vertical-launched version (VL-Haeseong II) in April 2017. This variant is designed to be compatible with the Korean Vertical Launch System (K-VLS), and entered production in 2018 and operational service in 2019.8

The vertically launched variant has a more powerful launch booster than the SL-variant, but the latter version can be fired from already established Haeseong I launchers.9 The K-VLS is not expected to come online until around 2019.


The Haeseong II has a launch weight of approximately 700 kg and range of around 500 km.10 The missile carries submunitions with semi-armor piercing capability.11

The missile employs a turbojet engine which allows it to travel at supersonic speeds (>343 m/s). It incorporates inertial navigation and GPS guidance, and can rapidly generate new flight paths in real time, allowing it to be reassigned a new target after launch.12

Service History

The SL-Haeseong II entered operational service in 2016. It is carried on South Korea’s Incheon-class frigates (FFX-I), the 4,500 ton-class Korean Destroyer (KD) vessel, and Sejong the Great-class destroyers (KDX-III).13 The KDX-III vessels can carry up to 32 Haeseong IIs.14

The vertically launched is expected to enter operational service in 2019. It is planned to equip the Daegu (FFX-II) and FFX-III-class frigates, the latter vessel expected to enter service in 2021.15

Unlike the sea-based Hyunmoo-3C cruise missile, Haeseong II is under control of the South Korean Navy and not the joint chiefs of staff. Its lower range classifies it as a ‘naval’ and not ‘strategic’ weapon.16


    1. Lee Tae-hoon, “Seoul develops supersonic cruise missile,” The Korea Times, September 26, 2011, http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2011/09/113_95503.html; Bradley Parrett, “South Korea Works on New Missile Technology,” Aviation Week, June 1, 2012, http://aviationweek.com/awin/south-korea-works-new-missile-technology.
    2. “S. Korea Unveils Homegrown Cruise Missiles,” The Chosunilbo, February 15, 2013, http://english.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2013/02/15/2013021501154.html; CSIS Missile Defense Project, “North Korea Missile Launches: 1984-Present,” Missile Threat, April 20, 2017, https://missilethreat.csis.org/north-korea-missile-launches-1984-present/.
    3. Mike Yeo, “South Korea develops missile with flight path-changing capability,” Defense News, April 21, 2017, http://www.defensenews.com/articles/south-korea-develops-missile-with-flight-path-changing-capability.
    4. “S. Korea Unveils Homegrown Cruise missiles,” Chosunilbo.
    5. Kim Minseok and Bradley Perrett, “South Korea’s LIG Nex1 Land-Attack Missile Cleared For Service,” Aviation Week, May 8, 2017, http://aviationweek.com/defense/south-korea-s-lig-nex1-land-attack-missile-cleared-service?platform=hootsuite.
    6. Gabriel Dominguez, “South Korea develops shipborne land-attack missile variant,” IHS Jane’s Defense Weekly, April 21, 2017, http://www.janes.com/article/69724/south-korea-develops-shipborne-land-attack-missile-variant.
    7. Ibid.; “Video: Republic of Korea Navy’s New TSLM Ship-Launched Land Attack Missile,” Naval Recognition, April 24, 2017, http://navyrecognition.com/index.php/news/defence-news/2017/april-2017-navy-naval-forces-defense-industry-technology-maritime-security-global-news/5134-video-republic-of-korea-navy-s-new-haeseong-ii-tslm-ship-launched-land-attack-missile.html.
    8. Ibid.
    9. “Video: Republic of Korea Navy’s New TSLM Ship-Launched Land Attack Missile,” Naval Recognition.
    10. Minseok and Perrett, “South Korea’s LIG Nex1 Land-Attack Missile Cleared For Service.”
    11. “Korea’s warships to have new missiles for ground targets,” Korea Herald, April 18, 2017, http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20170418000282; Mike Yeo, “South Korea develops missile with flight path-changing capability.”
    12. Naval Recognition, “Video: Republic of Korea Navy’s New TSLM Ship-Launched Land Attack Missile;” Mike Yeo, “South Korea develops missile with flight path-changing capability.”
    13. Gabriel Dominguez, “South Korea develops shipborne land-attack missile variant.”
    14. Chosunilbo, “S. Korea Unveils Homegrown Cruise missiles.”
    15. Gabriel Dominguez, “South Korea develops shipborne land-attack missile variant.”
    16. Minseok and Perrett, “South Korea’s LIG Nex1 Land-Attack Missile Cleared For Service.”
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Missile Defense Project, "Haeseong II," Missile Threat, Center for Strategic and International Studies, October 10, 2017, last modified April 23, 2024, https://missilethreat.csis.org/missile/haeseong-ii/.