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North Korea reveals new tactical nuclear warhead; But how many does China have?

On March 28 North Korean state media revealed the “Hwasan-31” tactical nuclear warhead, showing that at least 10 had been produced, with a poster showing 8 tactical nuclear weapons.
FPI / April 5, 2023


By Richard Fisher

North Korean state media revealed on March 28 that North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un used a visit at the North Korean Nuclear Weapons Institute to reveal that North Korea has started serial production of a new tactical nuclear warhead called Hwasan-31.

North Korea did not reveal any useful details, like the weight and yield of the warhead, though it is safe to estimate the yield would be in the range of multiple kilotons.

But one image did show that the Nuclear Weapons Institute had produced at least ten tactical nuclear warheads.

In addition, another image revealed a wall poster showing that North Korea had at least eight delivery systems for its tactical nuclear weapons:

The KN-24 land based short range ballistic missile (SRBM); land and sea-launched versions of the KN-23 SRBM; the KN-25 600mm multiple launch rocket (MLRS); the Hawsal-1 and Hwasal-2 ground launched land attack cruise missiles (LACMs); the Haeil unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV); and a new optical guided missile.

After having conducted about 95 missile tests and demonstrations in 2022, so far in 2023 North Korea has sought to demonstrate its tactical nuclear delivery systems are a major threat to South Korea, Japan and countries that can be targeted by North Korean submarines.

On Feb. 19, North Kora launched two of its 395-kilometer range KN-25 MLRS missiles.

On March 9, it simultaneously launched six SRBMs, then on March 14 and March 19 launched 650 km range KN-23 SRBMs.

On Feb. 23 and then on March 22, the North conducted multiple launches of its 2,000-kilometer range Hwasal-1 and Hwasal-2 LACMs.

Pyongyang revealed tests of its Haeil nuclear armed UUV on March 23.

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hwa31 by is licensed under Screen Grab KCNA

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