At least two missiles the Kremlin fired at Ukraine in a morning attack were made in North Korean arms factories, likely from recent trades made by Russia’s President Putin with fellow dictator Kim Jong Un.
According to Serhiy Bolvinov, head of the Investigative Department of the National Police Department in the Kharkiv region, Russian armed forces launched an attack on Kharkiv with two North Korean-made missiles on Wednesday morning.
“Two of the five missiles fired at Kharkiv in the morning were of North Korean origin,” he reported via Facebook.
Explosives analysts collected metal fragments from ballistic missiles in Kharkiv’s industrial zone. Their preliminary assessments suggest these are North Korean Hwasong-11Ga (KN-23) missiles.
What is known about these North Korean missiles?
These ballistic missiles, produced by North Korea, bear some similarities to the Russian 9M723 operational-tactical complex Iskander-M and the South Korean Hyunmoo-2B, with specific differences.
Like the Iskander-M missile, the North Korean weapon follows a quasi-ballistic trajectory. After reaching an altitude of about 50 km, it maneuvers in the atmosphere, where it can adjust its flight path with aerodynamic control surfaces.
The warhead of the missile is estimated to weigh approximately 500 kg. It boasts an effective range of up to 450 km with a 500 kg warhead and 690 km with a lighter warhead. The missile measures 7.5 m in length with a total weight of 3415 kg.
Earlier in January, a spokesperson for the US National Security Council stated that Russia employed North Korean ballistic missiles during large-scale attacks on Dec. 29, 2023, toward Zaporizhzhia and on Jan. 2, 2024, in Kharkiv.
The Ukrainian publication Defense Express, analyzing the wreckage, concluded that it was the KN-23 missile. One of the missiles, which left substantial debris, struck Kharkiv’s center near Svoboda Square.
Several North Korean missiles were launched again on Jan. 6, with at least one hitting Kharkiv.
On Jan. 10, foreign ministers from 47 countries condemned North Korea's supply of ballistic missiles to Russia.
It was previously reported that missile strikes on the city began at 6 a.m.
Hits were recorded in the Slobidsky district. There is damage to non-residential infrastructure. A 52-year-old woman received minor injuries but was not hospitalized,” reported Oleg Sinegubov, head of the Kharkiv regional military administration.
At least five people are known to have died, and dozens more were wounded after this Russian mass missile attack on cities across Ukraine. Four people died in Kyiv and one in Mykolaiv.
Kyiv Post reporters in the capital were woken by an air raid alert just before 6 a.m. Two loud explosions were heard in the city center around an hour later and at least two more 45 minutes later.
One missile flew into a residential region of the capital’s southern Holosiivsky district, hitting an apartment building in an upper story and detonating, a Kyiv Post reporter witnessed.
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