What are North Korea's "Iskander" like missiles really

It are extended single-stage variants of  the "Pukguksong-1",  here as GLBM-2

Norbert Brügge, Germany


2023, March 15 -- Launch from transporter

2022, January 05 -- Another lauch from train
2021, September 15 -- North Korea presents the missile system as a variant that can be launched from a train.


2020, August 10 -- A year later: The same missile system on the parade. The transporter corresponds to the type that was first used in July 2019 and is not identical to that of May 2019 (!)



2019, August 05 -- A fourth launch campaign of  "PS GLBM-2" has now been documented by North Korea with images. The impact of the projectile was about 460 km from the launch site. About the maximum range of the rocket may be further speculated. All informations to altitudes and distances should note with skepticism.


2019, July 25 -- Another double start of the "PS GLBM-2" (serial numbers 005/006). Supposedly one of the missiles should have flown 600 km.


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- 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.

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 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 missile with 1.1m diameter, developed on base a 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, and changed nozzle.

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 probably ten axles and new cabin.
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 axis of the two rockets is turned so that including the four fins a room of 1.3 m is needed.
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). 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)


                    Serial number 003



PS GLBM-2: Nozzle and jet vanes were changed


First presentation  in February 2018

Probably a test rocket launch of PS GLBM-2