Korea, Democratic People's Republic of

Cluster Munition Ban Policy

Last updated: 08 July 2019

Summary: Non-signatory North Korea has not commented on cluster munitions nor its position on joining the convention. It was absent from the vote on a key United Nations (UN) resolution on the convention in December 2018. North Korea produces and stockpiles cluster munitions but is not known to have used or exported them.


The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) has not acceded to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

North Korea did not participate in the Oslo Process that created the convention and has never attended a meeting on cluster munitions or made a public statement on the issue.

In December 2018, North Korea was absent from the vote on a UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolution, which urges states outside the Convention on Cluster Munitions to “join as soon as possible.” [1] It has been absent from the vote on each of the annual UNGA resolutions promoting the convention since 2015.

North Korea is not party to the Mine Ban Treaty or the Convention on Conventional Weapons.

Use, production, transfer, and stockpiling

North Korea is not known to have used or exported cluster munitions.

Jane’s Information Group lists North Korea as producing and stockpiling submunition warheads for 122mm, 170mm, and 240mm rockets. North Korea has exported this rocket system, but it is not known if transfers have included the cluster munition variant. [2] Jane’s Information Group also cites the North Korean Air Force as possessing KMGU dispensers (which deploy submunitions), RBK-500 cluster bombs, and unspecified types of anti-armor and anti-runway cluster bombs. [3]

 [1]Implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” UNGA Resolution 73/54, 5 December 2018.

 [2]Myanmar Defense Weapons,” 20 March 2014.

 [3] Robert Hewson, ed., Jane’s Air-Launched Weapons, Issue 44 (Surrey, UK: Jane’s Information Group Limited, 2004), p. 841; and Terry J. Gander and Charles Q. Cutshaw, eds., Jane’s Ammunition Handbook 2001–2002 (Surrey, UK: Jane’s Information Group Limited, 2001).