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The North Korean state media has released on February 7 new images showing that the secretive state has test-fired a new anti-ship cruise missile.

The images were released in the lead-up to US-South Korean military exercises this spring. North Korea routinely seeks to raise tensions ahead of the annual drills, although this year Pyongyang has also offered to suspend nuclear testing if Washington calls off the exercises.

Photo KCNA

Photo KCNA

The images, which were shown on the front page of the ruling Workers’ Party Rodong Sinmun newspaper, showed leader Kim Jong-un observing the missile being fired from a small naval vessel.

State media described it as a “new type of cutting-edge anti-ship rocket” developed by North Korean scientists that will “bring a great change in the navy’s defense of territorial waters”.

The missile appeared identical in design to a Russian anti-ship missile, the KH-35, which is capable of flying at high speeds meters above the sea.

North Korea has increased the number of air and naval military drills in recent weeks, ahead of the annual US-South Korean military exercises on the Korean peninsula.

Pyongyang regularly protests over the drills, which it says are a rehearsal for war.

North Korean officials have made frequent trips to Russia over the past year, where Kim Jong-un is scheduled to make his first official state visit this May.


In a propaganda film, North Korea has revealed footage of a newly developed cruise missile.

The North Korean missile is believed to be similar to the Russian KH-35 missile, which came into service in 2003.

Cruise missiles are short-range weapons guided by on-board computers, used to attack specific targets. The majority of the North’s known missiles are much larger, longer-range missiles.

North Korea is under UN sanctions over its weapons and nuclear programs.

The North Korean missile is believed to be similar to the Russian KH-35 missile

The North Korean missile is believed to be similar to the Russian KH-35 missile

Many in the West believe Pyongyang is trying to develop a nuclear weapon.

But analysts say North Korea does not appear to have successfully manufactured a warhead small enough to be carried by its missiles.

North Korea’s suspected new cruise missile was revealed for only a split second at the end of the 50-minute propaganda film.

It appeared in between montages of soldiers shouting, tanks firing in unison and leader Kim Jong-un laughing.

From that brief glimpse, some analysts have deduced that the missile is a modified version of the KH-35 anti-ship missile.

It is unclear whether North Korea previously owned any cruise missiles.

South Korean media has already speculated that the cruise missile could pose a potential new threat to the South’s navy.