Jeffrey LewisKN-08 Markings

So, baby number 2 is due any day now.  I don’t expect to be blogging much over the coming month.

One of the great joys of working at the Monterey Institute is the tremendous number of talented students with amazing language skills. I have an article, written with one of our students named Hanah Rhee, about an amazing North Korean film, The Country I Saw. It’s titled “How We Learned to Stop Worrying and Love North Korea’s Bomb (Almost).” I am really proud of it.

Having talented linguists around creates other opportunities, too. Like reading the medallion on a Chinese-made TEL that paraded through Pyongyang with what appeared to be an ICBM.

We can read that!  Well, Hanah Rhee can read that. It says:

조선민주주의인민공화국 | Chosun Minjujui Inmin Gonghwaguk | Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
화성-13 자행발사대 | Hwaseong-13 Jahaeng Balsadae | Hwaseong-13 Self-Propelled Launcher
There are a couple of other markings, too, though these are less clear.

The marking on the left says: 유압 | Yu-ap | Oil Pressure.

The marking on the right is a specialized term that Rhee is not sure how to translate.  It looks like it says:  연보급배출 or Yeonbogeup Baechul.

배출 (Baechul) is apparently “discharge” or “emission.”  연보급 (Yeonbogeup) is confusing, but Rhee’s best guess is “Fuel Refueling.”  Fuel Refueling Discharge doesn’t make much sense, but perhaps you, dear readers, can straighten us out.

Hey, maybe this is enough to draw Jochen Schischka out of hiding! (Actually, it’s been more than a year since I’ve heard from Jochen and am starting to get a little worried.  If someone knows where he’s gone, please drop me a line.)

Update | 12 September 2012 3:38 pm PST Here are the original pictures from the parade.



  1. Tal Inbar (History)

    Interesting. However, I thought that the name “Hwaseong” was a western nick mane for NK missiles.

    • Jeffrey (History)

      I think Hwaseong is theirs, but Nodong, Taepong, and Musudan are ours.

      Strangely, the NORKs seem to use “Scud” in their international marketing efforts, which I find truly bizarre. I guess it’s a strong brand.

  2. JW (History)

    Lousy timing given the NRC report that just came out. Any chance of a missile defense post prior to baby?

    Also, congrats.

    • Jeffrey (History)

      I printed it out. We’ll see.

      I have my doubts about the cost-effectiveness of shoot-look-shoot, at least at the margin, but maybe they did the math.

  3. Totoro (History)

    Fuel Refueling Discharge:

    How about a vent port for the fuel tank?

    • JR (History)

      I like “vent port” for “fuel refueling discharge”. Makes a very NK kind of sense. “When nitrogen tetroxide starts spraying out of this hole, turn the taps off.”

  4. Ano N. Ymous (History)

    Well, the TEL needs fuel too, and that has to be “discharged” somewhere from the hose into the TEL’s fuel system – somewhere like a refueling cap. So, “diesel refueling port” for anyone?

    • Jeffrey (History)

      The port is on the missile body.

    • George William Herbert (History)

      I certainly hope fuel not oxidizer. Hydrazine is bad; tetroxide is horrendus.

      Where on the missile was that port? That could help disambiguate internal layout a bit more…

  5. Ed Marshall (History)

    Check out the next picture down from the one posted here. It’s at the top of the missile body. It could only be venting oxidizer.

    • Ed Marshall (History)

      Nevermind, I’m wrong, that is the bottom of the missile body. Probably Hydrazine venting.

  6. Tal Inbar (History)

    Is it possible to share with us the part of the movie in whish the missile is seen? These seems to be the clearest images of the missile yet published. Note the small nozzle, and the weldings.


    • Jeffrey (History)

      Oh, wait, I’ve confused you. The image is from the parade, not the film. The only connection is our Korean speaking RA who can translate things.

  7. Bruno (History)

    Congratz on the future baby Jeff, we will miss you !
    Now Hwasong is the NORK designator for the all SCUD-derived serie including the Nodong isn’t it ?
    I agree that vent port is much more realistic than fuel valve due to the size of the hole we are talking about.

  8. makeyeev (History)

    Its a great looking TEL but this is still my fav

  9. JohnLopresti (History)

    The serial number field on the TEL medallion is written in English: No.____________ Is writing the vehicle identification number field identifier in English standard practice?…in case the vehicle is shipped to a Western country!