By Joost Oliemans and Stijn Mitzer
Imagery released by North Korean state media on February 27 shows Kim Jong Un reviewing the testing of an upgraded type of anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) and its effects on a main battle tank, as well as a concrete structure. The new missile is claimed to have increased range, penetrating power and accuracy compared to its predecessor, and is supposedly the longest-range system of its type in the world. Although media outlets were quick to tie the designator Bulsae-3 to the missile, the system in question is actually still the older Bulsae-2.
However, it appears an upgraded missile has been developed which is compatible with the same launcher, likely developed after Kim Jong Un reviewed the performance of the older missile in February 2014. As the designation Bulsae-2 is most likely tied to the entire missile complex (as opposed to just the launcher or the missile), the Bulsae-3 is presumed to be a wholly novel development. Also present at the testing was Hong Yong Chil, deputy director of the WPK Machine-Building Industry Department, who usually supervises tests of new weapons systems in the DPRK.
During the testing, Kim Jong Un examined several launches of the man-portable system from raised platforms. At least two different targets, a concrete building and an indigenous Chonma-216 main battle tank (MBT), were struck, suggesting two different warheads may have been developed. Indeed, state media appeared to refer to both as a “focusing warhead” as well as a “thermal pressure warhead,” and subtle markings on the missiles themselves seem to confirm this theory. – NK News