North Korea Tests New Anti-Ship Missile System

February 14th, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un witnessed a test launch of the Padasuri-6 Anti-Ship Missile off the country’s eastern coast. The weapon system is part of the DPRK’s contingency plan to counter South Korea’s capabilities in response to a potential invasion. Specifically, the test aimed to assess preparedness around the Yeonpyeong and Baengnyeong islands.

The missile flew for approximately 23 minutes before hitting a target in the East Sea or Sea of Japan. The Padasuri’s range is supposedly 250 miles, providing a new advantage over the Kumsong-3, which could only travel 150 miles. Another improvement the new missile has over the Kumsong-3 is the additional missile canisters it is capable of carrying. Previous missile systems only carried two to four canisters, but the Padasuri can carry eight canisters, representing a 50 to 75 percent increase in carrying capacity. 

This escalation of military testing comes as a result of Kim Jong Un’s claims that South Korea is encroaching on the DPRK’s sovereign territory. Pyongyang does not recognize the Northern Limit Line and believes the mobilization of Seoul’s combat ships off their coast is an intentional act of provocation.