North Korea announced the test launch of a new type of long-range cruise missile over the weekend, calling it an important strategic weapon.

According to images of the launch published in Rodong Sinmun, the mouthpiece of the Korean Workers’ Party, the missile launcher was placed on a truck chassis with 5 launch tubes similar to the giant rocket system used by Pyongyang.

North Korean cruise missile fired (left) and on flight path in photo released on September 13.

`This is North Korea’s first cruise missile described as a strategic weapon. This term is often used for systems that can carry nuclear warheads,` Ankit Panda, an expert from the Carnegie Endowment for Peace.

It is unclear whether Pyongyang has mastered the technology to miniaturize nuclear warheads to fit cruise missiles, but North Korean leader Kim Jong-un earlier this year declared that developing increasingly smaller warheads was a priority.

`Long-range cruise missiles that can carry nuclear warheads will cause many difficulties, forcing the enemy to think very carefully about the location of defensive radar deployment and invest more in the ability to counter cruise missiles.`

`Long-range land-to-surface cruise missiles are weapons that significantly enhance North Korea’s offensive capabilities. This is a system designed to fly under the radar of missile defense systems, even flying

Vipin Narang, a researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the US, said that cruise missiles carrying nuclear warheads are an important factor in neutralizing enemy air defense networks, adding that this type of weapon is very effective.

`They are equipped with jet engines that take air from the outside environment so they can fly low and have complex maneuvers. Oval and number 8 orbits are a way to test the missile’s range without exceeding

However, some experts also expressed doubts and warned that many factors remain unclear about the features of North Korea’s new cruise missile.

`This is a significant development step for North Korea, but it is necessary to avoid assigning the features of many current land-based cruise missiles to it. It is possible that this type of missile only uses markers with positioning signals.`

Kim Jong-un has not supervised any missile tests since March 2020.

`Missile tests now take place regularly without his direct supervision or involvement, although I am sure Kim directly approved this activity. This may be an attempt to turn the