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The KN-24 is a North Korean short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) first tested in August 2019. The missile flies on a quasi-ballistic trajectory and has an estimated range of 410 km.

KN-24 at a Glance

Originated from
North Korea
Short range ballistic missile (SRBM)
Possessed by
North Korea
4.57 – 5.55 m
0.7 – 0.85 m
Launch weight
>1,670 kg
400 – 500 kg
Single-stage, solid propellant
410 km

KN-24 Development

North Korea first test fired the KN-24 near the eastern coastal city of Hamhung on August 10, 2019. The two test missiles flew a depressed trajectory, reaching an apogee of 48 km and a range of 400 km.1 Six days later, North Korea test fired two more KN-24 missiles from Tongchon to an apogee of 30 km and a range of 230 km.2 In subsequent releases, North Korean state media referred to the missiles a “tactical guided weapon.” The U.S. intelligence community has designated the missile as the KN-24.3 

DateRange (km)Altitude(km)Notes
January 17, 202238042Launched from Sunan Airport, Pyongyang.
March 21, 202041050Two missiles launched 5 minutes apart and flew on a “variable ballistic trajectory.”
August 16, 201923030Two missiles fired 15 minutes apart and flew on a depressed trajectory.
August 10, 201940048Two missiles fired 15 minutes apart and reached speed of 2.1 km/sec.
Table of KN-24 launches.

On March 21, 2020, North Korea conducted its third test launch of the KN-24, firing two missiles from Sonchon to an apogee of 50 km and a range of 410 km.4 These missiles reportedly performed “pull-up maneuvers” in flight.5 Similar missiles, like the Russian Iskander-M SRBM, use pull-up maneuvers to orient onboard targeting systems and evade interception such maneuvers to orient active guidance systems. It is unclear whether the KN-24 possesses radar or other terminal seekers.


The KN-24 is similar in appearance to the United States’ MGM-140 Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS), measuring an estimated 4.57 – 5.55m in length and 0.7 – 0.85 m in diameter.6 Analysts speculate that the missile carries a unitary warhead with a payload of 400 – 500 kg.7

The KN-24 has demonstrated a range of up to 410 km and can maneuver n flight to fly non-parabolic trajectories. Use of such maneuvers can make it more difficult for missile defenses to establish a predicted point of intercept. The missile may also possessed enhanced accuracy over Scud-based SRBMs. In one test, North Korea struck an 100 meter-wide island, with the missile, suggesting improvements in the missile’s precision.8


    1. “N. Korea says leader supervised test-firing of ‘new weapon'” Yonhap News Agency, August 11, 2019,
    2. “N. Korea fires 2 unidentified projectiles into East Sea: JCS,” Yonhap News Agency, August 16, 2019,
    3. Ankit Panda, “The return of the KN-24: unpacking North Korea’s March 21 missile test,” NK Pro, March 22, 2020,
    4. “N.K. says leader Kim oversaw test of newly developed tactical guided weapon,” Yonhap News Agency, March 22, 2020,
    5. Ibid.
    6. Michael Elleman, “Preliminary Assessment of the KN-24 Missile Launches,” 38 North, March 25, 2020,
    7. Michael Elleman, “North Korea’s New Short-Range Missiles: A Technical Evaluation,” 38 North, October 9, 2019,
    8. Ibid.
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Missile Defense Project, "KN-24," Missile Threat, Center for Strategic and International Studies, April 15, 2020, last modified April 23, 2024,