North Korean/ U.S. Designation N/A / KN-21
Missile Variants Hwasong-5 (Scud-B)
Mobility / Role Road Mobile/Short Range Ballistic Missile
Designer/Producer North Korea
Range 250+ km
Warhead Type and Weight Conventional or Nuclear/ N/A (1000 kg Estimate)
MIRV and Yield No MIRV capability / N/A
Guidance System/ Accuracy N/A
Stages Propellant One/ N/A
IOC Not Operational
Status/Number of Units In Development / N/A


The KN-21 is suspected to be a variant of North Korea’s first missile, the Hwasong-5 (Scud-B). The KN-21 SRBM is a unitary, scud missile with a non-separating warhead that give it the capability to maneuver in the terminal phase of flight. North Korea has described this missile as an ‘ultra-precision’ variation of its existing SRBMs. This missile was first flight tested on August 26, 2017[i], when North Korea launched three KN-21s in 10-minute intervals. The second missile blew up immediately after launch, but the first and third missiles flew around 250km before falling into the sea.[ii]

Strategic Implications

If deployed near the DMZ, the KN-21 would be able to strike the majority of South Korean territory. U.S. military assests are further put at risk because of the KN-21’s maneuverability gives North Korea a more accurate missile the previous ones. The KN-21 is a hardened target for a preemptive attack due to its road-mobile platform.

The KN-21 has not been seen since the August 2017 test and it remains unkown what the future of development or deployment is for the the missile. Since then, North Korea has tested a different SRBM with similar capabilities, the KN-23.




Missile Threat and Proliferation