Since May 2019, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) has repeatedly tested two new solid-fuel short-range ballistic missiles (SRBM). Unlike liquid SRBMs such as the SCUD-B/C, the KN-23 and KN-24 missile systems have different designs, means of transportation, and launch methods. However, they have largely overlapping performance and utility. In theory, the longer range KN-23, which appeared earlier than KN-24, should have eliminated the need for the latter. The authors examine English and Korean texts about the two systems’ launch activities from the North’s state-owned Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) to look for particularities that could explain this parallel development.
Clear distinction in reporting language and tone used between the articles on the KN-23 and the KN-24.
KN-23 articles highlight deployment of the system, whereas KN-24 articles highlight research & development behind it.
KN-23 may have been deployed without extensive testing, which suggests that it is a system utilising foreign (sub-)systems in part or in whole.