North Korea Fires Short-Range Ballistic Missile, MLRS

On May 4, North Korea test fired a short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) and two multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS) from Wonsan on the country’s east coast. According to the state-run Korea Central News Agency (KCNA), “The purpose of the drill was to estimate and inspect the operating ability and the accuracy of striking duty performance of large-caliber long-range multiple rocket launchers and tactical guided weapons by defense units in the frontline area and on the eastern front.” The artillery employed included the 240 mm (40-50 km range) MLRS and the 300 mm KN-09 (190 km range). According to the South Korean Defense Ministry, the projectiles landed between 70 and 240 km from the launch site.

The new SRBM remains of particular interest to analysts. Shown on military parade in February 2018, the yet-unnamed missile reportedly employs solid-fuel propulsion, indicating North Korea’s deepening interest in the technology. The weapon externally resembles the Russian-produced 9K720 Iskander-M, but may be an iterative development of the KN-02 “Toksa”.