The DPRK test-fires a new submarine-launched strategic cruise missile.
North Korea’s state news agency KCNA reported on this.
The tests were conducted to demonstrate the active development of a submarine component of the Korean fleet, which is currently capable of conducting submarine-launched strikes.
The test launch of the new Pulhwasal-3-31 cruise missile took place on the morning of January 28, 2024, from an unknown type of submarine.
This is the second test launch of this type of missile that aims to test the performance of all missile elements.
The first launch of the Pulhwasal-3-31 strategic cruise missile took place on January 24, 2024, at the missile control test site.
The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported that the tests were part of a performance test of the parts of the modernized missile. It can be assumed that the Pulhwasal-3-31 is a modernization of the land-based version of the missile, which was adapted to be launched from 533-mm submarine torpedo tubes.
This thesis was also confirmed by the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff. They stated that the DPRK is currently conducting a large-scale modernization of old missile models, and the test launch was part of verification.
Additionally, it was noted that North Korea’s missile control launched several missiles toward the sea from the country’s west coast.
It is not yet known from which type of submarine the cruise missile was launched. According to U.S. intelligence, the DPRK Navy has four types of diesel-electric submarines with a total of about 100 units.
As Militarnyi previously reported, the DPRK’s Central Television reported that the government would increase defense spending in 2024.
The country plans to allocate about 15.9% of the total defense budget that will primarily be directed to the development of missile technology.