A report from the U.S. Congressional Research Service(CRS) states North Korea's KN-23 ballistic missile can carry a nuclear warhead.
The CRS believes that some of the North's short and medium-range ballistic missiles can carry a nuclear or conventional payload, known as dual capable.
The report said the KN-23 short-range ballistic missile(SRBM) can strike any location on the Korean Peninsula with either a conventional or nuclear payload and that it exemplified a notable advance in the North’s inventory of smaller category weapons.
It noted that in tests in May 2019, the KN-23 conducted a “pull-up” maneuver, intended to hinder the ability of ground-based interceptors to destroy a hostile missile.
The report said the multiple rocket launcher KN-25 blurs the line between rocket and missile but achieves the same effect as a traditional short-range ballistic missile.
In the medium-range ballistic missile category, the report said the KN-15, known as Pukguksong-2, poses the greatest threat to North Korea’s regional adversaries and exhibits advanced technology.
It said the KN-15 is a solid-propellant missile capable of striking mainland Japan and carrying a nuclear or conventional payload.
It concluded that North Korean tests have demonstrated growing success and coupled with increased operational training exercises, suggest a pattern designed to strengthen the credibility of the regime’s regional nuclear deterrent strategy.