North Korea could transfer tactical guided ballistic missiles to Russia, according to South Korean Defense Minister Shin Won-Sik.
Pyongyang unveiled an unidentified truck-mounted missile system earlier this month, which reportedly resembles the KN-24 close-range ballistic missile (CRBM).
According to the South Korean defense minister, the munition has an estimated range of 100 to 180 kilometers (62 to 112 miles) and could be armed with a tactical nuclear warhead.
“North Korea said it will deploy [CRBMs] with front-line troops,” Yonhap News Agency quoted Shin as saying.
“Given the recent arms trade, [I think] North Korea could sell them to Russia,” Shin said, citing the recent sales of North Korean ballistic missiles to Russia.
KN-24 Short-Range Missile
The KN-24 resembles the MGM-140 Army Tactical Missile System, featuring a unitary warhead of 400 to 500 kilograms (881 to 1,102 pounds).
The guided missile was first tested in 2019 and has a quasi-ballistic trajectory.
The White House earlier this month announced Russia’s deployment of North Korean ballistic missiles in Ukraine, saying that the munition has a range of 900 kilometers (559 miles).
Based on the missile’s graphic and range, it resembles the KN-23 and KN-25 short-range ballistic missiles.
Russia Traded Technology for Arms
Shin said that Russia perhaps traded technological assistance to Pyongyang in return for arms and ammunition.
“North Korea’s spy satellite launched in November is considered rudimentary. If Russia continues to offer technological assistance, the satellite’s capability is expected to improve,” Shin said.
North Korea has shipped an estimated 5,000 containers of weapons to Russia, enough to carry some 2.3 million rounds of 152-millimeter shells or some 400,000 rounds of 122-millimeter artillery shells, Yonhap News Agency wrote, citing the defense minister.