World North Korea Megathread - Dear Leader and his shenanigans

Will our great nation The Democratic People's Republic of Korea succeed?

  • Dear leader will guide us to glory

  • Everyone goes to the labor prisons

  • Trump nukes Kim Jong Un a new anus

  • DPRK starves to death before anything interesting happens

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Loaded Like A Boxcar Moving Like A Racecar
N. Korea fires short-range missile
SEOUL, May 4 (Yonhap) -- North Korea fired an unidentified short-range missile in the direction of the East Sea on Saturday, South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said.
The North "fired a missile from its east coast town of Wonsan in the eastern direction at 9:06 a.m. today," the JCS said in a release.
South Korean and U.S. authorities "are analyzing details of the missile," it added.


Friendship with Kim ended. Moon best friend now?



That Defense Sperg.

from the "Warzone"

The War Zone said:
"It seemed sadly inevitable, but today it appears to have come to pass—North Korea has fired a number of short-range missiles from the resort city of Wonson along the country's eastern shore. The test comes just two weeks after Kim Jong Un resumed high-profile inspections of military units and oversaw the test of a small tactical guided munition. It's also the first firing of a missile with over-the-horizon range since November 28th, 2017, when Kim Jong Un personally oversaw the test of the Hwasong-15 Intercontinental Ballistic Missile.

What happened after the incredibly provocative act was a year and a half of detente driven by North Korea. It began with a sudden outreach from Pyongyang to Seoul regarding the 2018 Olympic Games. The U.S. followed suit and Kim declared his nuclear and missile goals accomplished for the time being and announced a new era where his focus would be on economic expansion.
After a series of diplomatic exchanges and two faltered engagements at the highest level between Trump and Kim, nothing came in terms of tangible denuclearization. In fact, North Korea never even changed its long-standing language regarding denuclearization that isn't even remotely similar to the White House's goals.

Meanwhile, South Korea's Moon Jae In, who bet heavily on a new era of peace between South Korea and its estranged neighbor to the north, has continued to try to move the diplomatic process forward with weakening results. What did change is North Korea's status on the world stage. Kim is now a world traveler who has renewed his precarious relationship with his country's primary benefactor, China. Kim even met just recently with Vladimir Putin who has taken a new interest in North Korea and its elevated international status.
Today's launch also came after Trump and Putin talked on the phone about North Korea and as the Hermit Kingdom drastically cut back on food rations to its citizens. Kim had demanded that sanctions installed due to his nuclear and missile programs be lifted to improve the lives of his citizens even though he has been seen driving around his palaces in Pyongyang and abroad in a fleet of new armored limos, including Rolls Royces, Mercedes Maybachs.
North Korea has cut food rations to their lowest level ever for this time of year and may be forced to further slash them without international aid
— AFP news agency (@AFP) May 3, 2019
We cannot underestimate how big a message this is from North Korea. Trump had said Kim promised he wouldn't start with the test firings again if the U.S. didn't execute big military exercises with South Korea and continued with negotiations. Well, North Korea has since said it meant ICBMs only, while the U.S. meant all major missiles. In addition, even relatively small restructurings of South Korean-U.S. exercises has drawn extreme ire from the regime. But regardless, by breaking the moratorium now, it seems clear that Kim is ready to return to his old ways of getting attention. Today's firing of short-range missiles, said to have flown between 70km and 200km, would be just about as predictable of an opening shot in renewed missile diplomacy as one can imagine from the rogue regime.
🚨 Here’s the big warning. “As wind is bound to bring waves, the U.S. open hostile policy toward the DPRK will naturally bring our corresponding acts.” 🚨
— Ankit Panda (@nktpnd) April 13, 2019
As for the types of missiles tested, we just don't know for certain at this time, but short-range ballistic missiles are possible, as are coastal-defense cruise missiles or even very long-range rocket artillery. The type does matter to some degree, as long as it wasn't short range artillery or small tactical missiles, but the basic message is still the same—the short status quo is no longer going to be upheld unless Kim gets something in return. If he doesn't, be prepared for more.
As always, details could change in an instant. We will update this post when more information comes available. "
Hi all, I heard the bat signal.

Don't worry about this one too much. It will prompt a diplomatic reaction, but this is a calculated small provocation.

There is going to be a lot of panicked voices from the media (like you see above), they are hypersensitive idiots.

As mentioned earlier this was either coastal anti-ship missiles or very long range traditional rocket artillery.

These are not the high threat "ballistic missiles." This doesn't help them to complete those programs.

I will be back later tonight with a large news round up.

EDIT: "his" to "this"
Last edited:

break these cuffs

This... celebration of incest is very crudely made

from the "Warzone"

Hi all, I heard the bat signal.

Don't worry about this one too much. It will prompt a diplomatic reaction, but this is a calculated small provocation.

There is going to be a lot of panicked voices from the media (like you see above), they are hypersensitive idiots.

As mentioned earlier this was either coastal anti-ship missiles or very long range traditional rocket artillery.

These are not the high threat "ballistic missiles." This doesn't help them to complete those programs.

I will be back later tonight with a large news round up.

EDIT: "his" to "this"
Yeah, this is basically nothing. It's the least Kim could do while still be seen as doing something.


That Defense Sperg.
Yeah, this is basically nothing. It's the least Kim could do while still be seen as doing something.
Fresh off of the presses.

Looks like one of those projectiles was indeed a Short Range Ballistic Missile:

Per the KCNA:



We don't know a heck of a lot about it. It was a prototype that was only originally presented at the 2018 Military Parade.

Nathan J Hunt, a specialist in North Korean Missile systems says the system is a copy of the Russian 9K720 Iskander. Which with appropriate miniaturization could be a short range nuclear delivery system.

make of all that as you will.

North Korea also did launch drill with:


They also did a launch drill with:


Here is a change in speed:

Panamanian ship held in Busan for alleged ship-to-ship transfers of oil to N.K.

Yonhap said:
BUSAN, May 4 (Yonhap) -- A Panamanian-flagged ship has been held in South Korea's southeastern port of Busan for alleged ship-to-ship transfers of oil to North Korea in violation of U.N. sanctions against Pyongyang, authorities said Saturday.

The 1,014-ton ship, Katrin, is suspected of illegally transferring petroleum products to North Korean vessels three times from July to December, according to the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries and the Coast Guard.

South Korea's spy agency and the customs office conducted joint inspections on the ship twice in February when it entered the port for maintenance, followed by the regional maritime authorities' order suspending its departure on Feb. 15.

Katrin's owner, a Russian national, is reportedly denying the allegations.

"The owner vowed to cooperate with the investigation, but is continuously delaying arrival in South Korea," a coast guard official said.

Eight vessels are held in South Korea as of Saturday for suspected violation of U.N. sanctions. Six have been detained as their allegations have been substantiated, while the other two, including the Katrin, are still under investigation.

In an annual report, a U.N. panel earlier said North Korea "continues to defy Security Council resolutions through a massive increase in illegal ship-to-ship transfers of petroleum products and coal."


N. Korea needs 1.36 mln tons more in food aid this year: U.N. report

Yonhap said:
SEOUL, May 3 (Yonhap) -- About 1.36 million tons of additional grain is needed to make up for food shortages in North Korea this year, a joint report by U.N. agencies showed Friday.

North Korea is estimated to have produced 4.9 million tons of food crop last year, the lowest level since 2008, and must import about 1.59 million tons of cereal this year to feed its people, but only 200,000 tons of commercial imports and 21,200 tons of assistance is planned, according to the report jointly published by the World Food

Program and the Food and Agriculture Organization.

"The uncovered deficit for the full marketing year is estimated at an elevated level of about 1.36 million metric tons," the report said.

The report also said 10.1 million North Koreans, or 40 percent of the country's total population, is in need of food assistance.

"Production prospects for the 2018-2019 early season crops -- to be harvested in June -- are unfavorable due to widespread low rainfall and lack of snow cover, which left crops exposed to freezing temperatures during winter," the report said.

In February, North Korea's top envoy to the United Nations, Kim Song, requested emergency food assistance, saying that his country will suffer a food shortage estimated at around 1.5 million tons this year.

The U.N. agencies dispatched officials to North Korea for an emergency assessment of the country's food shortage situation from March 29 to April 12.

That's all for tonight folks.


That Defense Sperg.
Here is a decent, if slightly overblown analysis of the KN-09 System:

North Korea’s Newest Ballistic Missile: A Preliminary Assessment
38 North said:
  • On May 4, under the watchful eye of Kim Jong Un, North Korea launched a series of projectiles featuring two types of large-caliber, multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS) and a new short-range ballistic missile. A few days later, North Korea released photographs of tested projectiles, which provides a basis for preliminary evaluations. The 240 mm and 300 mm diameter MLRS systems are not new to North Korea, nor do they alter the country’s battlefield capabilities. The short-range ballistic missile, depending on its origins, may significantly enhance Pyongyang’s capacity to conduct strategic strikes against targets in South Korea.
Artillery Rockets

The 240 mm diameter rocket has been part of the DPRK’s arsenal for several decades. It has an estimated range of about 40 to 50 km and carries a relatively small warhead of about 45 kg. Photographs reveal that it relies on a smokeless, double-base solid fuel that is common to most battlefield rockets.

Figure 1. The 240 mm MLRS rockets powered by smokeless, double-base solid fuel. The rockets have a range of about 40 km.


The larger 300 mm diameter rocket, designated by US intelligence as the KN-09, is a newer, more capable MLRS. The rocket was first tested in 2013, with subsequent tests performed in 2014 and 2016. It has a reported range of 190 to 200 km and carries a light, conventional warhead. It is powered by a standard composite-type solid fuel. Photographs show that the rocket is steered during flight by four small canard fins mounted at the rocket’s front end, near the warhead section, which provides for precision strikes if the guidance unit includes a satellite navigation receiver to update the inertial navigation components.

Figure 2. The 300 mm diameter KN-09 rocket.


The opaque exhaust plume indicates a composite-type solid fuel. Note the small canards positioned near the warhead section. These fins, when combined with a satellite-aided navigation system result in a precision-guided munition capable of striking key, fixed targets at distances approaching 200 km from the launch location.

The KN-09 is fielded on a six-wheeled truck equipped with two launch pods, each having four launch tubes. Its primary mission is to strike rear echelon targets, some 50 to 100 km behind the primary line of battle.

The KN-09’s origins are unclear. It may be a modified version of a Chinese WS-1B rocket, or another similar system from the Weishi family of rockets originally developed by the China National Precision Machinery Corporation (CPMIEC).

The New Short-Range Missile

The new missile tested by North Korea outwardly appears to be a Russian Iskander (9M723, SS-26), short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) which has a range of about 280 km when carrying a 450-500 kg warhead. There are several versions of Iskander, including the Iskander-E which was specifically designed and produced for export. Moscow is permitted to export the Iskander-E because its range and payload characteristics fall below the performance thresholds established by the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR).[1]

Iskander flies on a flattened trajectory, never exceeding an altitude of about 50 km. The R-17 (Scud-B) ballistic missile, by comparison, reaches a peak elevation of 80 to 90 km when covering a ground distance of 280 to 300 km. At altitudes below 50 km the air is dense enough to facilitate aerodynamic steering using the four small fins mounted at the Iskander’s tail end. In other words, Iskander can alter its flight path after the boost phase, and over its entire trajectory. When aided by satellite-navigation, receivers such as GPS or GLONASS (Globalnaya Navigazionnaya Sputnikovaya Sistema), Iskander can make course corrections and reliably land within 20 to 50 meters of its designated target. Such accuracy allows Iskander to destroy targets dependably when armed with a conventional warhead, making it a very effective military weapon.

In-flight maneuverability, in addition to substantially enhancing accuracy, also complicates and compromises ballistic-missile defenses. Defenses can no
longer precisely predict Iskander’s post-boost flight path, making it more difficult for the fire-control radar to calculate an anticipated interception point, without which the interceptor cannot be aimed with precision. Instead, the interceptor must fly to an approximated intercept point and rely on its kill-vehicle to make larger adjustments than would be otherwise needed as it makes a final approach to the target. The added unpredictability reduces intercept probabilities.

Finally, Iskander can exploit gaps in South Korean and American missile-defense coverage. While the exact numbers are secret, Patriot missile-defense interceptors are believed to have an engagement ceiling of about 40 km. The upper-tier or exo-atmospheric interceptors employed by THAAD and Aegis missile defenses have an engagement floor of roughly 50 km attitude. This creates a 10-km interceptor effectiveness seam at altitudes between 40 and 50 km. The seam almost perfectly coincides with Iskander’s flight path prior to its sharp dive toward ground-based target. Current missile defenses may struggle to intercept Iskandermissiles reliably.

Did North Korea Flight Test an Iskander?

The origin of the short-range ballistic missile tested by North Korea is unknown. There are three possibilities: 1) North Korea imported Russian-made Iskander missiles; 2) the tested missile is an Iskander clone produced by another country and transferred to Pyongyang; or 3) North Korean engineers either acquired technical documentation for the Iskander, or otherwise copied the Iskander’s design and produced the missile indigenously, with or without foreign technical assistance.

Photographs of the missile look remarkably like those of a Russian-produced Iskander, suggesting that North Korea imported the missile either directly from Moscow, or through a third party. However, the tested missile is also very similar to two other known systems, the Hyunmoo-2 fielded by South Korea and the Ukrainian Grom (sometimes Hrim), which is reportedly under development. All four missiles appear to share the same external dimensions and features, with only minor differences in the shape of the nose cones. Iskander is known to be equipped with at least three different nose cones, so the variations across the four missiles may not be determinate.

Figure 3. Comparison of four similar missile types.


Procuring the Hyunmoo-2, which was reportedly designed and developed by South Korea with technical assistance from Russia, seems highly improbable for obvious reasons. Acquiring the Grom from Ukraine is distinctly possible, although the Ukrainian version of Iskander reportedly remains in early development. Nonetheless, this possibility cannot be dismissed, despite it being unlikely.

This leaves scenarios one and three as the more probable explanations. North Korea is already known to have produced prototypes for the Pukguksong-1 and -2 missiles, both of which are solid-fuel systems. It would not be too surprising if its engineers ventured to develop a smaller, shorter-range missile resembling Iskander. However, there are no reports of development activity for such a missile, casting some doubt on this explanation. Further, the first suggestion that North Korea was interested in a missile like Iskander was seen during a February 2018 military parade in Pyongyang, where mockups of a missile of similar size and shape were unveiled. The mockups, however, were quite crude, as were the transporter erector launchers (TELs) carrying them. Iskander is a very sophisticated missile, one that would require years of development and testing. The missile tested last week, if domestically designed and produced, even with extensive foreign assistance would be in an early development phase, years away from operational deployment, and years removed from being a precision-guided missile.

Figure 4. The mock-up missiles paraded in February 2018 featured cable ducts that extend along the warhead section.


The more likely explanation relates to the direct import of Iskander from either Russia or a third party. Pictures from the test launch support this explanation. As shown in Figure 5, and highlighted originally by German missile-specialist Markus Schiller, the debris generated by the launch in North Korea is a virtual match of a launch of Iskander conducted by Russia. This coincidence is compelling and fully consistent with the importation of a Russian-produced Iskander. If North Korea did in fact import Iskanders from Russia, it has an existing capacity to deliver warheads to targets in South Korea with great precision, and an ability to penetrate existing missile defenses deployed in the South.


Regardless of the origins of North Korea’s newest short-range ballistic missile, its appearance and testing provide convincing evidence that Pyongyang continues to seek greater military and strategic capabilities. This is not surprising, as Pyongyang perceives itself to be under threat of aggression by the United States. Kim Jong Un very likely has other strategic weapons projects underway, whether foreign procurement efforts or indigenous development programs. If little progress is made in the negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang in the near to mid-term future, expect to see the unveiling of more, increasingly capable strategic weapons and capabilities.
  1. [1]
    The MTCR is a voluntary export-control measure adopted by the world’s leading missile-producing countries in an attempt to impede the proliferation of ballistic and cruise missiles capable of delivering nuclear (or chemical and biological) warheads.
To give those of you some context of the technology and capability level of the DPRK's Anti-Air capabilities.
Unseating the Lancer: North Korean Challenges in Intercepting a B-1B
Balloons to Drones said:
By Andy Zhao and Justin Pyke


When North Korea threatened to shoot down a B-1B Lancer in response to a September 23rd flight operating off its east coast, a reasonable amount of discussion centred around if the North Koreans have the capability to carry out their threat.[1] This article outlines some of the challenges faced by North Korea if it attempts to shoot down a B-1B operating off the coast in international airspace. Any scenario where United States (US) or South Korean aircraft attempt to penetrate the airspace of North Korea is outside the scope of this discussion.

North Korean Equipment


North Korea’s primary air defence is provided by the Korean People’s Army Air Force (KPAF). It operates a wide assortment of Soviet/Russian and Chinese equipment, consisting of everything from Chinese J-5s (a MiG-17 ‘Fresco’ derived aircraft) to the Russian MiG-29 9.13s ‘Fulcrum.’ Due to the secretive nature of the KPAF, it is hard to determine the true readiness of these aircraft in inventory. Many KPAF aircraft originate from the 1960s and are likely reaching their maximum airframe flight hours and/or are suffering from a lack of spare parts as indicated by the decreasing numbers of operational aircraft visible on airfields. This appears to be a major concern of the KPAF as in 2013 they attempted to import equipment and spare parts from Cuba. Numerous other problems plague the KPAF, from poor pilot training to the possibility of a largelyexpired inventory of air-to-air (A2A) missiles (i.e. R-60MKs (AA-8 ‘Aphid’) and R-27Rs (AA-10 ‘Alamo’) were received in 1987).

The KPAF also operates larger ground-based air defence platforms
, such as:
North Korea also possesses a formidable array of short-range air defence systems. These are not relevant to the discussion as their range is too limited to pose a threat to a B-1B operating in international airspace.

Understanding the Kill Chain[4]

The process required to intercept an aircraft can be broken down into various steps:
  1. Detect and identify the target;
  2. Acquire the target with fire control;
  3. Identify range and the target direction/angles, paint/illuminate (literally lit up with radar waves) the target for the missile;
  4. Launch the missile;
  5. Guide the missile onto the target;
  6. The missile detonates/impacts near the target;
  7. Observe the target, repeat chain if necessary.
For the target to be intercepted, every aspect of the chain must be followed and must be successful. It is a delicate process, and if any step is interrupted, the target is unlikely to be successfully engaged. The kill chain will be similar regardless of the method used to conduct the interception.

Intercepting the B-1B using S-200 Angara (SA-5 ‘Gammon’) for Interception


We will now take a closer look at the possible engagement of a B-1B by an S-200 surface-to-air missile (SAM) battery. This was the only SAM system likely to be in range of the B-1B flight on September 23rd, though even that is in doubt. For the sake of argument, we will assume a B-1B and its fighter escort stray into this outer layer of North Korea’s air defence. Firing an S-200 would be North Korea’s best shot at a successful engagement against a B-1B, as fighter interception would take more time and have to contend with a US and/or South Korean fighter escort of vastly superior quality. An S-200 SAM battery consists of several components:

An S-200 SAM battery consists of several components:
  • 5N62 (‘Square Pair’) Engagement Radar;
  • SM-106 5P73 Launchers;
  • V-601P 5V28 (S-200) Surface-to-Air Missile.
However, this is not an exhaustive list as the S-200 can also draw on higher assets, such as early warning/intercept radars (ex. P-14 ‘Tall King’ or ST-68 ‘Tin Shield’), or share information along with an integrated air defence network. It must be noted that the S-200 was developed in the 1950s through 1960s with the intention of engaging high-altitude bombers like the B-52 Stratofortress. The heavy missile is not ideal for engaging smaller and more manoeuvrable targets, particularly near its maximum range. The S-200 battery requires a constant feed of range and azimuth data to guide the missile onto the target and uses the 5N62 Engagement Radar to accomplish this task. Once the B-1B has been painted, the SAM battery can attempt to engage it.[5]

US aircraft are equipped with radar warning receivers (RWR), such as the ALQ-161A on the B-1B, that can detect radar emissions and alert the pilot. The pilot can then perform various actions (‘defending’) to attempt to break the lock. The most obvious of these is taking evasive action, but countermeasures such as chaff (small pieces of plastic and fibre with a conductive coating), jamming (providing false signals at the specific frequency used by the radar), and towed decoys (mimics the appearance of the parent aircraft) can also be employed.

Additionally, the S-200 has a poor record of target interceptions. On March 24th, 1986, Libya fired at least four S-200 missiles against two F-14 Tomcats when they were 40km off the Libyan coast. All of them missed their targets, and the engagement radar was destroyed by an AGM-88A High-Speed Anti-Radiation Missile, rendering the S-200 battery inoperable. In March 2017, Israeli aircraft launched airstrikes in Syria and were targeted by an S-200 battery, escaping unscathed.[6] In fact, the authors were unable to find a single example of a successful S-200 interception in a combat environment. In summary, the chance of an S-200 successfully downing a B-1B or its fighter escort is very low. The system was simply never designed to engage these types of aircraft effectively.

On September 23rd, the kill chain did not proceed past the first stage. According to Yonhap, the South Korean National Intelligence Service claimed that ‘North Korea did not take any immediate action in response to US’s strategic bombers’ flight.’ A member of the US intelligence community (IC) reached out to the authors and stated that the North Koreans picked up the flight on their early warning radars, but not engagement radars and that seemingly no alerts were sent to any airfields or SAM batteries. The source was unsure of the reason why the North Koreans did not send out alerts, and suggested possibilities varying from confusion/incompetence to a willful decision not to notify air defence assets. Ultimately, the North Koreans were either unable to acquire the B-1B flight with their engagement radars, or decided not to escalate the situation further by doing so.

As an aside, it is worth noting that the eastern S-200 battery’s (Onggodok) engagement radar was no longer present on the newest Google Earth imagery (October 19th, 2015), and was still missing as of May 5th, 2017. The US IC source stated it was likely just routine relocation training, and that there is another S-200 battery located on the east coast. Unfortunately, the authors could not confirm if the new site has the engagement radar, or if the battery was even operational during the September 23rd flight.

Intercepting the B1B using MiG-29 9.13s ‘Fulcrum’ for Interception


The same Yonhap article notes that North Korea has moved additional aircraft to the coast, and CNNclaims that they are MiG-29s. A ‘best case’ example of MiG-29 9.13s equipped with R-60MKs and R-27Rs will be used as this is the most capable A2A combat system in the KPAF inventory. North Korea only has around six of these MiG-29 models.[7] If the MiG-29s are fully combat loaded, they only have a 180km combat radius. This can be extended to ~276km with the use of a drop tank. Additional drop tanks can be fitted, but the MiG-29 9.13s would have to forgo the R-27R medium-range A2A missiles that would be critical to a successful interception.[8] Given the locations of North Korean airfields in the eastern part of the country, the MiG-29s would have only slightly more reach than the S-200 battery at best, and would just have one brief shot at the interception before needing to return to base. Additionally, the intercepting MiG-29s would likely not have time to engage with the US and/or South Korean fighter escort. For the sake of argument, the assumption will again be made that a B-1B flight comes within range of fighter interception.

Using aircraft to intercept the B-1B would follow the same general kill chain as mentioned for the S-200. First, the B-1B would need to be detected. This could be done with early warning radar before scrambling the MiG-29s to intercept. KPAF fighters could also be assigned to patrol the airspace around-the-clock, with ground radar assisting the aircraft in attempting to detect the B-1B. The latter is an unlikely option given the limited range of the MiG-29 and is demanding on the aircraft as well as the pilots. There may also be a significant delay between detection of the B-1B and the scrambling of aircraft. The MiG-29s would likely be detected by US or South Korean early warning assets in the region, which would communicate an advanced warning to the B-1B. It could use this time to leave the area, putting an end to the interception. However, if the B-1B is identified and does not leave the area, the MiG-29s still need to acquire it visually to engage with infrared missiles (R-60MKs) or on the radar to engage with radar-guided missiles (R-27Rs). Once again, countermeasures could be deployed, and evasive manoeuvres could be taken to defeat the missiles.


If fighters are escorting the B-1B, as was the case on September 23rd, they could intercept the MiG-29s. This would put the escorting fighters at risk. However, it must be made clear that even if the interception were conducted by the best KPAF fighters available (MiG-29 9.13s) using the best KPAF A2A missiles available (R-60MKs and R-27Rs), they would still be at a large disadvantage against US and South Korean aircraft. The countermeasures and missiles are both inferior at the least. For example, the R-27R relies on semi-active guidance, meaning the parent aircraft must keep its nose pointed at the target and maintain a lock with the onboard radar until impact.[9] By contrast, the AIM-120 AMRAAMused by US and South Korean fighters can be fired at an extended range, and course corrected using data from the parent aircraft without the need to keep the MiG-29 painted with radar. The pilot of the MiG-29 would not be alerted by their RWR that a missile was inbound until the AIM-120 reaches its terminal phase, providing little warning of its approach. This gives the US, or South Korean pilots added tactical flexibility over their North Korean counterparts. Any lesser aircraft in the KPAF inventory, such as MiG-23MLs ‘Flogger,’ would be even further disadvantaged.


The possibility of a successful interception of a B-1B operating in international airspace off the coast of North Korea cannot be disregarded entirely. However, the limited reach of North Korea’s air defence, the advanced age and limited capabilities of the systems theoretically in range, and the array of defensive options available to the air forces of the US and South Korea would pose a nearly insurmountable challenge. The high chance of failure (and by extension embarrassment), the possibility of instigating a regime-ending war, and negligible benefits of successfully downing a B-1B leads to the conclusion that North Korea is unlikely to carry out this threat. This is particularly true when North Korea has much more reliable and effective means of provocation, such as continued ballistic missile and nuclear tests.

Justin Pyke obtained his MA in Military and Intelligence History from the University of Calgary in 2016. His main research interests include the Asia-Pacific War, military and politics of Imperial Japan, and the development of air and naval power in the inter-war period. He can be found on Twitter at


Header Image: A B-1 Lancer performing a fly-by during a firepower demonstration, c. 2004. (Source: Wikimedia)

[1] Special thanks to Samuel Stadem, air power enthusiast and current chemistry graduate student at the University of Minnesota Duluth, for providing assistance with the finer points of modern military aviation.

[2] Tony Cullen and Christopher Foss (ed.), Jane’s Land-based Air Defence, 5th ed. (Surrey: Jane’s Information Group, 1992), pp. 261-62, 264.

[3] Richard D. Fisher Jr., ‘North Korean KN-06 Test Confirms Similarity to Chinese and Russian Fourth-Generation SAMs,’ IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly, 53:22 (2016).

[4] Robert H.M. Macfadzean, Surface-Based Air Defense System Analysis (Norwood: Artech House, 1992), pp. 39-63.

[5] Cullen and Foss, Jane’s Land-based Air Defence, pp. 263-64.

[6] The Syrians claimed that they shot down one aircraft and damaged another. However, no evidence has been presented and the burden of proof lies with Syria.

[7] Yefim Gordon and Dmitriy Komissarov, Soviet and Russian Military Aircraft in Asia (Manchester: Hikoki Publications, 2014), pp. 265-89.

[8] Yefim Gordon, Mikoyan MiG-29, trans. Dmitriy Komissarov (Hinckley: Midland Publishing, 2006), pp. 341, 377. The drop tank combat radius was extrapolated from the given range and combat radius values. The internal fuel capacity gives a 900km range and 180km combat radius, providing a ratio of 5. The given range on one drop tank is 1,380km. Dividing this by 5 results in a 276km combat radius.

[9] Gordon, Mikoyan MiG-29, pp. 364-65, 487-88.
No real change in diplomatic situation.


Tactical Autism Response Division
True & Honest Fan
Here is a decent, if slightly overblown analysis of the KN-09 System:

North Korea’s Newest Ballistic Missile: A Preliminary Assessment

To give those of you some context of the technology and capability level of the DPRK's Anti-Air capabilities.
Unseating the Lancer: North Korean Challenges in Intercepting a B-1B

No real change in diplomatic situation.
Am I right to think that Dear Leader has to bark every once in a while, especially after copacetic meetings with a western leader?


That Defense Sperg.
Am I right to think that Dear Leader has to bark every once in a while, especially after copacetic meetings with a western leader?
Yeah, you are correct on the pattern.

Now, the theories as to why the DPRK (and many other dictatorships) does that sort of thing are the center of very contentious Political Science and International Relations debates.


Loaded Like A Boxcar Moving Like A Racecar
It must be noted that the S-200 was developed in the 1950s through 1960s with the intention of engaging high-altitude bombers like the B-52 Stratofortress. The heavy missile is not ideal for engaging smaller and more manoeuvrable targets, particularly near its maximum range.
This made me laugh a little. While a B1 is supersonic bomber, it's still a heavy bomber. It's not going to be doing F16 levels of evasive maneuvering.


That Defense Sperg.
This made me laugh a little. While a B1 is supersonic bomber, it's still a heavy bomber. It's not going to be doing F16 levels of evasive maneuvering.
You would be surprised. It can pull more than a few Gs even while loaded up. No F-16 to be sure, but definitely maneuverable enough to put a dent the the S-200's capabilities.


Loaded Like A Boxcar Moving Like A Racecar
You would be surprised. It can pull more than a few Gs even while loaded up. No F-16 to be sure, but definitely maneuverable enough to put a dent the the S-200's capabilities.
True. The part that really got me was 'smaller'. Aren't both planes are just under half a million pounds max takeoff weight?


That Defense Sperg.
Aren't both planes are just under half a million pounds max takeoff weight?



Though I think they referencing that the missiles are purely for anti-strategic bomber usage.

EDIT: the B1-B also as a significantly smaller radar profile. But now I am just sperging

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