North Korea’s growing stockpile of ballistic missiles are the most feared arms in the regime’s secretive arsenal of weapons.
It remains to be seen if the hermit state can achieve its quest to develop a nuclear warhead capable of hitting enemies halfway around the world.
But the North has powerful weapons which can be fired from within its borders and still cause mass casualties and widespread damage to targets closer to home.
Those arms include the combat-tested yet antiquated Koksan ‘super big gun’ capable of hitting Seoul with devastating force.
The 170-millimetre self-propelled gun can hit targets as far as 37 miles away, putting the South Korean capital within range as tensions continue to rise on the peninsula.
The Koksan is a throwback to long-range guns from the first half of the 20th century, but many were phased out by countries including the US as weapons evolved from the 1950s.
Yet North Korea has stuck with its ‘big gun’, with its origin and real name still a mystery.
It was given the designation M1978 Koksan based on the county where it was first spotted by Western intelligence in 1978, The National Interest reported.
The gun is mounted on a Chinese Type 59 tank, and it may be derived from Japanese weapons or German artillery pieces used during the Second World War.
The gun has been used in battles before.
Pyongyang sold several Koksan guns to Iran during the Iran-Iraq War, and they are still seen in military parades in Tehran today, The National Interest reported.
A North Korean diplomat said this week that possessing nuclear weapons was a matter of life and death for the country.
He also said that Pyongyang does not plan to hold any talks with the US about its nuclear programme.