What is North Korea's "Iskander" like KN-23 missile really

Is it the announced "Pukguksong-3" as GLBM ?

Norbert Brügge, Germany

Upload: 06.05.2019; last update: 10.06.2019

No conclusion yet on nature of missiles launched by N. Korea
SEOUL, May 17 (Yonhap) -- The defense ministry repeated that more analysis is required to determine if the missiles North Korea test-fired this month were ballistic missiles or not, stressing that Seoul and Washington have been working hard to figure that out. While experts say Pyongyang appeared to test-fire its version of Russia's ground-to-ground short-range ballistic Iskander missile both on May 4 and May 9, the allies have said that analysis is underway to figure out exactly what type of weapons were launched. "To clarify, we are looking into details. We don't provide briefings on issues that the allies are working on," a ministry official told reporters.

2019, May 09 --
North Korea has launched two more missiles of the same type at short intervals. "Similar to the May 04 reportedly 420-kilometer flight, those launch events resulted in 500-kilometer and 550-kilometer missile flights over the peninsula with a splashdown in the East Sea (nknews.org)." This reported range is compare with Pukguksong-1.

2019, May 04
-- North Korean state media outlet KCNA announced the testing of an unnamed new tactical weapon, which reportedly had a "peculiar mode of guiding flight" and deployed "a powerful warhead".
This missile (western code: KN-23) is NOT a Russian Iskander or Iskander clone as permanently be reported by analysts or in the medias. It seems only like that.
This is sooner a single-stage Pukguksong-3 GLBM, developed on base the Pukguksong-1 (SLBM). Similar specimens were shown for the first time at the parade in February 2018. The size difference to the Iskander and other Iskander-like missiles is striking.
With a diameter of 1.1 m, a length of about 8.70 m is achieved (Iskander is 7.28 m long and has a body diameter of 0.91 m). The motor is clear not Iskander-like. Probably we have a Pukguksong-1 first stage motor, extended by one segment. With the addition of the PS-1 second stage we would have the Pukguksong-3 SLBM.

If - contrary to my analysis - it is an Iskander clone (~0.90 m diameter),
then it is NOT an Iskander-motor; the differences are significant

We see two different trucks: A four-axle truck on tires and a truck that seems to match the Pukguksong-2 tracked vehicle with new cabine.
I analyzed the dimensions of both vehicles. The chassis width is identical of 3.0 m, and the usable width of the cargo bay as well. This is enough to load two missiles with 1.1 m diameter.
The length of both cargo bay is also identical and is 10.4 m (The cargo bay of the Iskander truck is only 8.4m). Since two charged missiles are slightly displaced to avoid a collision of the fins, the required cargo bay is slightly longer than a missile.
Based on my measurements, the diameter of 1.1 m the missile (like Pukguksong-1) could be confirmed.


Has Joseph Dempsey on base the published photos proven a dual launch on May 04 ?
The vehicle in the photo above looks



The long cable duct is puzzling; the motor is clearly visible
(Regarding the cable duct, it could be that in other pictures it is not visible because the perspective)






First presentation as mock-up on a too small truck in February 2018

Probably a test rocket launch of PS-3 GLBM




2017, August 22 -- KNCA spreads images of planned  wound-filament casings of carbon-fiber compound material in connection with an PS-3 SLBM