The KN-08 was first displayed in a North Korean parade in April 2012. Since this time, speculation has surrounded this road-mobile, intermediate or intercontinental range system. Some have even questioned whether it is a real development program, or merely a mock-up designed to confuse Western analysts.
Assuming the KN-08 is a viable system, the length is estimated in between 17.5 m and 19.75 m; the diameter is in between 1.5 m and 2.0 m; and the range is in between 2500 km and 6000 km based on the different stages and the weight of the payload.
Some analysts have suggested that the first stage is similar in size to the Musudan (BM-25). Others have noted that it may be the first stage of the No Dong 1 missile. The second stage could be based on the propulsion system used in the Russian R-27, while the third stage resembles the size of Iran’s Unha SLV. David Wright, senior scientist of the Union of Concerned Scientists, suggests that the KN-08, “looks like something that does not represent a real missile in development.” 1
- Richardson, Doug. “Analysts Struggle to Understand North Korea’s KN-08.” Jane’s Missiles & Rockets 2012, May 24, 2012. ↩