TechRussia employs North Korean-made KN-23 missiles against Ukraine, experts reveal

Russia employs North Korean-made KN‑23 missiles against Ukraine, experts reveal

Russia employs North Korean-made KN-23 missiles against Ukraine, experts reveal
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1:54 PM EST, January 10, 2024

Union agency reports that one of these missiles may have landed near Zaporizhia. Meanwhile, Valeriy Ryabich from Defense Express claims that Russia has employed North Korean-made missiles in its attacks on Ukraine at least twice.

"Missiles made in North Korea might have landed in Ukraine twice already. One landed near Zaporizhia, and another was directed at Kharkiv," said Ryabich. He suggests that there are strong indications that the identified missiles are the KN-23s, which share dimensions and features similar to Russian Iskanders.

"This is a serious missile. It can carry a payload of about 1102 lbs, exceeding Iskander's range. It has been observed to travel up to about 398 miles," explained Ryabich.

However, public knowledge regarding the specifics of the KN-23 missiles, officially named Hwasong-11Ga, remains scarce. Developed in 2018, the missile is known to be a short-range solid-fuel ballistic missile.

Physically, the KN-23 is akin to Russian Iskander-M missiles; it measures approximately 9 m (about 29.5 feet) in length and 1 m (about 3.3 feet) in diameter. The propulsion system is likely similar to the Korean KN-11 (Pukkuksong-1). It's worth mentioning that the Hwasong-11Ga might have been used for the first time during Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Last year, U.S. intelligence reported that Moscow had received an unspecified number of North Korean ballistic missiles in October 2023. This shipment may have contained KN-23's. As of early 2024, Ukrainian specialists had identified Korean weapons from the remnants of a missile, specifically its control fins. However, the quantity of KN-23s held by North Korea and how many of them might be in Russian possession remains uncertain.

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