"N.Korea Tests New Guided Missiles to Reinforce 'Tactical Nuclear Operation' " by Ji Da-gyum for The Korea Herald

ONN Analyst Tianran Xu shared his insights on the DPRK's tactical nuclear weapons delivery systems.

" 'My first impression is that it looks similar to the KTSSM. One can also say that it is a smaller KN-23/24. I believe it shares their trajectory characteristics, and it is also an aero-ballistic missile that flies at low altitude and can maneuver during flight,' Xu Tianran, an analyst for Open Nuclear Network, told The Korea Herald.


Xu also pointed out that it is 'apparent that they (North Korea) are aware of their weakness in conventional weapons, and are compensating with nuclear weapons on all layers and levels' despite questions remaining on the North's definition of a tactical nuclear weapon.


Xu said North Korea's recent moves could indicate a shift in nuclear use doctrine, which the country has not yet publicly declared, from 'assured retaliation to first use and nuclear warfighting.' North Korea had focused on ensuring nuclear retaliatory or second-strike capability as a deterrence. But Xu said it seems North Korea is 'more serious about nuclear warfighting' as the country enhances nuclear capabilities, diversified nuclear delivery systems, and continues fissile material production."