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The KN-08, also known under the names No-dong-C and Hwaseong-13, is a road-mobile intercontinental ballistic missile believed[1] to be under development by North Korea.[2][3][4][5]

Mock-ups of the missile were first displayed during a military parade in April 2012 to mark the 100th anniversary on Kim Il Sung.[3][4][6][7] Six missiles were carried on 16-wheel [8] transporter erector launchers,[9][10] similar in size to those used by the Russian RT-2PM2 Topol-M missiles.[5] The TELs are thought to be based on WS-51200 frames made by Wanshan Special Vehicle in China,[4][7] possibly using technology from Minsk Automobile Plant.[5][11] UN investigators have concluded that the TELs were Chinese WS51200 trucks exported to North Korea for lumber transport. The North Koreans converted them into TELs by installing hydraulic gear and controls to erect a missile. Despite being converted to fire a missile, the truck would not be likely to survive damage from the rocket exhaust like a purpose-built TEL, making it a single-use launcher.[12]

The KN-08 mock-up dimensions are estimated to be a length of about 17 metres, and first and second stage diameter of about 1.9 metres, reducing to about 1.3 metres for the third stage. Liquid-fueled ICBMs generally only have two stages for best performance, with a few exceptions usually when an existing design is upgraded. The three stage design of the KN-08 is puzzling.[13] While a three stage design is common for solid propellant ICBMs, western analysts say that North Korea lacks the experience and ability to develop a solid-fueled ICBM.[14]

Mock-ups were again paraded in 2013, with fewer discrepancies between them than in the previous year.[15]


  1. ^ Gertz, Bill (December 5, 2011). "North Korea making missile able to hit U.S.". The Washington Times: 1–4. Retrieved 2013-04-12. 
  2. ^ C. P. Vick (2012-13). "KN-08:The semi-mobile Limited Range ICBM – No-dong-C". Retrieved 2013-04-13.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  3. ^ a b Jonathan Marcus (27 April 2012). "New ICBM missiles at North Korea parade 'fake'". BBC News. Retrieved 2013-04-13. 
  4. ^ a b c "An essential aspect of ballistic proliferation: transporter erector launchers (TEL)". CESIM. 2012. Retrieved 2013-04-13. 
  5. ^ a b c Nick Hansen (4 May 2012). "North Korea’s New Long-Range Missile – Fact or Fiction". 38 North. Retrieved 2013-04-12. 
  6. ^ Markus Schiller and Robert H. Schmucker (April 18, 2012). "A Dog and Pony Show, North Korea’s New ICBM". armscontrolwonk. Retrieved 2013-04-12. 
  7. ^ a b Craig Scanlan (April 19, 2012). "North Korea’s Newest Road-Mobile Ballistic Missile". Asia Security Watch. Retrieved 2013-04-12. 
  8. ^ Jeffrey Lewis (September 11, 2012). "KN-08 Markings". armscontrolwonk. Retrieved 2013-04-12. 
  9. ^ "North Korean missile vehicle 'similar' to China design". BBC News. 20 April 2012. Retrieved 2013-04-13. 
  10. ^ "US 'kept quiet over Chinese UN breach' on North Korea". The Telegraph. 13 Jun 2012. Retrieved 2013-04-12. 
  11. ^ Melissa Hanham (July 31, 2012). "North Korea's Procurement Network Strikes Again: Examining How Chinese Missile Hardware Ended Up in Pyongyang". NTI. Retrieved 29 December 2012. 
  12. ^ Tales Of The Forbidden TEL -, 19 July 2013
  13. ^ Markus Schiller and Robert H. Schmucker (2 May 2012). The Assumed KN-08 Technology (Report). Retrieved 12 April 2013. 
  14. ^ Markus Schiller (2012). Characterizing the North Korean Nuclear Missile Threat (Report). RAND Corporation. ISBN 978-0-8330-7621-2. TR-1268-TSF. Retrieved 19 January 2013. 
  15. ^ Jeffrey Lewis and John Schilling (4 November 2013). "Real Fake Missiles: North Korea's ICBM Mockups Are Getting Scary Good". 38 North (U.S.-Korea Institute, Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies). Retrieved 14 January 2014.