North Korean artillery systems

North Korean ordnance factories produce a variety of self-propelled guns, howitzers, and gun-howitzers. In the 1980s, North Korea produced a significant amount of self-propelled artillery, mating towed artillery tubes with chassis already in the inventory. The following artillery systems are known to be in the North Korean inventory. No open source data is presently available concerning these systems, which were designed and manufactured in North Korea. Based on prior North Korean practice, and the reported calibers of these weapons, it may be assumed that they resemble and are derivative of similar Chinese and Russian systems.

On 23 November 2010, North Korean artillery units fired over 150 shells onto and around Yeonpyeong Island, across the North-South disputed western sea border. North Korea claimed that the South Korean military had fired first, during routine U.S.-ROK exercises in the area. According to one report, about half the North Korean shells hit the island. The barrage killed four South Koreans (two marines and two civilians), wounded dozens, and destroyed or damaged scores of homes and other buildings. It was North Korea’s first direct artillery attack on ROK territory since the 1950-1953 Korean War. South Korea responded by shooting 80 shells at North Korea. An official North Korean media outlet later said that the South Korean civilian deaths were “regrettable."

The Supreme Command of the Korean People's Army stated: "The revolutionary armed forces of the DPRK standing guard over the inviolable territorial waters of the country took such decisive military step as reacting to the military provocation of the puppet group with a prompt powerful physical strike. It is a traditional mode of counter-action of the army of the DPRK to counter the firing of the provocateurs with merciless strikes."

The North Korean attack is a violation of the Armistice Agreement signed in 1953. It follows the North Korean sinking of the South Korean ship Cheonan in March 2010 -– an attack that killed 46 South Korean sailors. There have been many North Korean breaches of the armistice over the years, but it is one of the first to target civilians. The attack had a chilling effect on the people of South Korea.

DESIGNATION Type Russian Analog Chinese Analog
M1989 (KOKSAN) 170mm SP gun-howitzer    
M-1978 (KOKSAN) 170mm SP gun-howitzer    
M-1974 152mm SP gun-howitzer    
M-1985 152mm gun-howitzer D-20 / M-55 Type 83
M-1975 130mm SP gun    
M-1992 130mm SP gun   130mm SPG
M-1981 122mm SP gun   Type 54 SPH
M-1991 122mm SP howitzer Type 70
M-1992 120mm SP combination gun    

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