A smaller SLBM that North Korea claimed it successfully launched from a submarine last October was also shown. The small SLBM appeared to have a sharper warhead tip. This variation of SLBMs with different ranges seems to indicate that they will be deployed in a very short time.
The new SLBM has a larger warhead and length than the Pukguksung-5ㅅ, which was first displayed at the January 2021 military parade. This improvement means that the new SLBM has a much longer range and is capable of carrying MIRVs (multiple independently-targetable reentry vehicles) that can destroy multiple cities at once with just one nuclear-tipped SLBM.
It is estimated that the length of the missile is 3 meters longer than that of the previous Pukguksung-5ㅅ SLBM, which could be called Pukguksung-6 or an improved 5. Given its size, the SLBM could be loaded on North Korean 3000-ton submarines currently in the final stages of construction at the Sinpo shipyard.
The Associate Research Fellow of the Asan Institute for Policy Studies, Mr. Uk Yang, analyzed the new missile in an interview with local media.
“The diameter of the new and the valuable SLBMs has not changed, the height of the missiles and the cabin of the launch vehicles are identical. The new SLBM protrudes more than 0.5mm beyond the front of the carrier vehicle, confirming that the new missile is slightly longer.”
Mr. Uk Yang, Associate Research Fellow of the Asan Institute for Policy Studies
Yang added that the increased length was due to the addition of more combustion parts to increase the range, as well as the enlargement of the warhead, presumably for the placement of a MIRV warhead.
After presenting strategic nuclear weapons, including SLBMs, ICBM, tactical guided missiles, etc., North Korean leader Kim Jong Un delivered a speech on his new nuclear doctrine, which envisions lowering the inhibition threshold for using nuclear weapons and using his nuclear arsenal more actively when North Korea’s nuclear interests are violated, emphasizing deterrence capability. Kim Jong Un has not specified what his regime’s “core interests” are and intends to expand the scope for using nuclear weapons.
In response, the transition team of conservative President-elect Suk-yeol Yoon held a press conference on April 26 to comment on the North Korean military parade. Deputy spokesman Ilhee Won, speaking on behalf of the transition team, said, “It proves that North Korea is threatening peace on the Korean Peninsula, in Northeast Asia, and in the world while pretending to push for peace and talks for five years. Because North Korea poses a real and serious threat to us, deterrence is our top priority. We will pursue both opposing weapons systems and the super-gap in military technology side by side.”