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North Korea’s strategic cruise missile test

Date: 17 September 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous


North Korea has tested a long-range cruise missile. This is the country’s first long-range (1,000 km+) cruise missile.



North Korea has the Kumsong-3 (KN-SS-N-2 Stormpetrel) based on the Soviet Kh-35, which is shorter range anti-ship system.



The test was conducted by the country’s Academy of Defence Sciences. It was witnessed by DPRK’s Workers’ Party’s powerful politburo.


Cruise missiles

  • Cruise missiles are missiles that have an internal guidance system. They have precision guiding technique to take a very low trajectory, parallel to the ground and go far.

  • The cruise missiles are developed to travel within the earth’s atmosphere unlike the ballistic missiles. They aerodynamically maneuver during their flight time.

  • Cruise missiles make use of solid- propellant rocket booster to obtain altitude and speed for the onboard sustainer engine to start.

  • The missiles belonging to these categories are difficult to detect. It is still not understood where the DPRK has managed to attach a nuclear warhead on them.


UNSC sanctions on North Korea

  • The cruise missiles are not covered under the UNSC sanctions imposed on North Korea to curb its nuclear development programme.

  • The continuation of nuclear programme despite the sanctions has created fears among its neighbors like China, South Korea, Japan and US.


International concerns

North Korea is trying to pressurize international community and US for removal of sanctions. This comes after US withdrawal from Afghanistan.