North Korea's questionable ICBM "Hwasong-17" (HS-17)*

"bolstering up the reliable strategic nuclear deterrent"

Norbert Brügge, Germany

Update: 28.04.2022

e2022, April 25 -- The HS-17 on the parade

2022, March 24 -- Eight days after the failure, another HS-17 was successfully launched. After the end of the burn it still reached a altitude of 6,200 km.

2022, March 16
-- There was probably a
failed launch of the  HS-17 that day. Debris has fallen near Pyongyang. The failure was associated with a huge detonation on midair.
It is possible that this failed launch was the first attempt to test a single-stage HS-17 with 3 engines (3x2 combustors), that use as the first stage of the Unha-X.

2022, March 10 -- It was reported that North Korea on February 27 and March 5 launched unidentified missiles with components of a reconnaissance satellite on board.
On March 10 the US reported that the new, large Hwasong-17 ICBM was involved.

Latest images released by North Korea and an analysis

*2021, October 13 -- It is now official, the suspected HS-16 is called HS-17.

2020, October 10 --
That is it, the Hwasong-17 with a diameter of 3.0 m (!!). We are can be sure to see the first stage of Unha-X here (as was to be expected).

An exact comparison is here difficult, but the difference in diameter from 2.4 to 3.0 m can be clearly seen

by Xu Tianran !


Like the HS-15, the Hwasong-17 is not a real ICBM. Both are the stages for the new SLV "Unha-X". The HS-17 here has an unusually oversized fairing including the second stage, which, like the transporter, suggests an modeling for the parade.We should not be fooled by the details on the surface.
The HS-17 is without engines about 27.0 m long. The first stage is about 17.5 m long, with a diameter of 3.0 m. The shown mock-up has no engines. The relevant section at the end of the rocket, which is short and slightly conical, is covered by pots painted in red. As a result, we still do not know how many engines the Unha-X will have.
However, my analysis of photos revealed that there are six pots covering six holes for engines. To see are three pots (see below).






  Prognosis previously

2019, Dec. 13 -- "Another cruicial test was successful conducted at the Sohae SLG from 22.41 to 22.48 on December 13. The research successes being registered by us in defence science one after another recently will be applied to further bolstering up the reliable strategic nuclear deterrent of the DPRK.”

2019, Dec. 07 -- "A very important test took place at the Sohae SLG on the afternoon of December 7. The Academy of the National Defence Scienc of the DPRK made a report on the successful test of great significance to the Central Commitee of the Worker's Party."

So far there is no further information or photos, but we can guess what will happen:
The first stage of the upcoming new Unha-X SLV with 3 x 2 "Pektusan-A2" engines was subjected to a static test for the first time. This stage is undoubtedly usable for a real ICBM, which we will see in the near future. Due to the dimensions of this vehicle ("HS-17"), the pad on the Sohae SLG probably will be use, where also the undetected static tests took place at night.

This is what the HS-17 ICBM and its rear could look like