New North Korean Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missile
North Korea paraded yet another iteration of its Pukguksong (Polaris / Pole Star: 북극성) family of Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missiles (SLBMs) on January 14. The Pukguksong-5 appears to share a common first stage with the -3 and -4 missiles. Based on image analysis by Nathan J Hunt, the -5 appears slightly longer overall compared to the -4. In particular it features a longer, more swept, nose cone.
This development comes despite the -4 version having not been test fired. While North Korean missiles are becoming increasingly reliable, this raises some questions. However, whatever the theatrics in these parades and test launches, this should be taken as at least indicative of North Korean SLBMs.
The SLBM will be carried by North Korea's Modified-Romeo Class ballistic missile submarines. Each submarine can carry three missiles. They may also form the principle armament of any future nuclear-powered submarine.
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