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KN-02 Toksa 독사 毒蛇
Place of origin  North Korea
Service history
Used by Korean People's Army Strategic Force
Production history
Manufacturer  North Korea
Weight 2,010 kg (4,430 lb)
Length 6.4 m (21 ft)
Diameter 0.65 m (2.1 ft)

Warhead single HE, submunition, chemical, biological
Warhead weight 250 or 485 kg (551 or 1,069 lb)

Engine Liquid
Propellant solid
~120–160 km (75–99 mi)
Inertial, optical correlation system
Accuracy 100 m

The KN-02 Toksa (Viper, 독사 hanja 毒蛇) is a North Korean reverse-engineered locally-produced modification of the OTR-21 Tochka short-range ballistic missile.

Design and development

In 1983, Syria acquired a number of 9K79 Tochka (SS-21 Scarab-A) missiles from the Soviet Union, a single-stage, solid-propellant guided missile with a range of 70 km and a CEP of 160 m. In 1996, Syrian missile technicians provided North Korea with technical data on the missiles, then shipped some of the missiles themselves. The first test of a North Korean-produced version occurred in April 2004 and was a failure, but it was then successfully fired on 1 May 2005 into the Sea of Japan; the KN-02 has been tested at least 17 times. Initial production is believed to have begun in 2006, with the missile displayed aboard a launcher during a military parade in April 2007, and entering service in 2008. At least 50 missiles are speculated to be in service.[1][2][3]

The KN-02 is a short-range, road-mobile ballistic missile, broadly equivalent to improved Scarab-B. Although it has a shorter range than other North Korean missiles like the Scud-C, it has superior accuracy of near 100 meters CEP through inertial guidance with an optical correlation system in the terminal phase, making it the most accurate ballistic missile in the inventory; this enables it to be used for precision strikes against priority targets such as airfields, command posts, bridges, storage facilities, and even enemy troops concentrations in a tactical support role on the battlefield. Its warhead weighs 485 kg (1,069 lb) and likely consists of a high-explosive, submunition, chemical, or biological payload; Russian engineers could equip the OTR-21 with a 100 kiloton nuclear warhead, but North Korea is not likely to be able to do the same. The missile has a range of 120–140 km (75–87 mi), and it may be capable of traveling 160 km (99 mi) through reducing payload to 250 kg (550 lb).[1][2][4][5]

A significant difference between the Russian OTR-21 and North Korean KN-02 is the transporter erector launcher (TEL). While the Russian missile is transported and fired from the 6×6 9P129 that has amphibious capabilities, the KN-02's TEL is a locally fabricated version of the Belarusian MAZ-630308-224 or -243 6×4 or 6×6 commercial heavy utility truck, which has a maximum road speed of 60 km/h (37 mph) and is not amphibious. The vehicle has a short firing cycle, able to be ready for launch in 16 minutes, launch the missile in 2 minutes, and be reloaded in 20 minutes by a supporting reloader vehicle of the same design fitted with a crane and holding 2-4 more missiles.[1][2][5][6][7][8]

Further developments

In 2013, South Korean intelligence reports suggested that North Korea was developing an anti-ship ballistic missile version of the KN-02. Its range is estimated to be 200–300 km (120–190 mi; 110–160 nmi), longer than current KN-01 variants, and it would be much more difficult to intercept due to its faster speed.[9]

In March 2014, a South Korean military source claimed that the KN-02's range had been extended to 170 km (110 mi) through improved engine performance. The source also claimed that North Korea possessed 100 missiles with 30 TELs deployed to fire them.[10] In August 2014, KN-02s were fired out to a range of 220 km (140 mi).[11]


  •  Democratic People's Republic of Korea

See also

OTR-21 Tochka


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 KN-02 -
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 KN-02 -
  3. KN-02 Short Range Ballistic Missile -
  4. KN-02 (Toksa) -
  5. 5.0 5.1 KN-02 short-range ground-to-ground ballistic missile -
  6. OTR-21 Tochka -
  7. KPA Journal Vol. 1, No. 2 - February 2010
  8. KPA Journal Vol. 1, No. 3 - March 2010
  9. N.Korea Developing Anti-Ship Missile -, 14 October 2013
  10. N. Korea has 100 KN-02 missiles with extended range -, 5 March 2014
  11. John G. Grisafi (16 August 2014). "Recent launches revealed as surface-to-surface missile". NK News. Retrieved 23 August 2014. 

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