North Korea apparently test-fired two KN-01 short-range surface-to-ship missiles on its west coast on Thursday. The KN-01 has a range of around 120 km.
A government source here said, "North Korea test-fired what is believed to be two KN-01 surface-to-ship missiles on its west coast in North Pyongan Province." The KN-01 is an upgraded version of China's Silkworm missile, which has a maximum range of around 95 km, and was developed in the late 1990s. It is designed to attack U.S. landing vessels and aircraft carrier groups if they attempt to land on North Korean territory.
A military source here said it seems that the North was testing the capacity of the KN-01 and that the test launch is not related to the regime's upcoming rocket launch. But military officers believe North Korea test-fired the KN-01 as a warning to the South Korean and U.S. military, which have deployed more ships in the West Sea recently.
When North Korea conducted its nuclear test on May 25, 2009, the North also fired two KN-01 missiles near Hamhung, South Hamgyong Province. In January this year, it fired three KN-02 surface-to-surface missiles along the east coast and two more short-range missiles toward the East Sea on Dec. 19 last year, when it announced the death of former leader Kim Jong-il.