North Korea's "Pukguksong-1" is a small two stage solid-fuel SLBM

Norbert Brügge, Germany

Revision: 14.09.2019

The Pukguksong-1 SLBM is a small version of 1.1 m diameter. The following larger Pukguksong-3 SLBM, which is almost identical to the Pukguksong-2 GLBM, like this one has a diameter of 1.4 m.
The PS-1 SLBM differs optically not from the PS-3 SLBM. The last version also has a skirt with eight grid-fins. A 1.1 meter diameter motor in test mode, uses for the PS-1, was presented by North Korea.

My measurements on the PS-1 (on the railcare) are exact and result in 1.1m diameter. The published measurements (1.4m) by Charles Vick are wrong. We can see that the PS-2 lies deeper on the same rail car. Nobody has noticed so far that there are two variants of the PS-1. The first variant has no grid-fins (barge launch). The second variant with grid-fins can be seen on the rail car and on pictures of the loading into a submarine. The PS-3 on the parade (1.4m diameter) looks opticaly like the PS-1 (+ grid-fins). That is why nobody has noticed so far.

2016, August 23 -- A successful launch from a submarine with ballistic trajectory and a range of 500 km. First photos were shown on loading the rocket in a submarine. The missile has now grid fins.

+ skirt with grid fins Sinpo Submarine Loading in Skirt with eight grid fins is new

Diameter Analysis

Dimension of PS-1 on rail car

PS-1 and PS-2 on the standard rail car in comparison

Dimensions if submarine sail and loading in of PS-1

2016, April 24
-- North Korea said a submarine-launched solid-fuel ballistic missile test it conducted had been a "great success". North Korea fired the missile from a submarine (?) off its east coast on April 23 and it flew for about 30 km, a South Korean Defence Ministry official said. The North Korean State TV also showed what it claimed were underwater images of the missile being ejected from the underwater tube.


The KCNA report argued that the missile was launched from its maximum underwater depth, and that it is a "cold-start" ejection mechanism and high performance engine using solid fuel worked without a hitch, along with its flight controls and warhead release systems.



2015, September & November  -- Two more tests of the Pukguksong-1 SLBM from an underwater barge, which may not have been successful.


2015, April 22
-- After two some tests in 2014 and January 2015, North Korea has launched on April 22, 2015, for the first time their naval "Pukguksong" from an underwater barge. There were published the following photos and a video



A closer look at photograph reveals Photoshop work at the back end of the missile. Rectangular graphic blocks appear to have been inserted. The detached flame could be a result of this editing.