North Korea says it tested its first hypersonic missile

Seoul, Sep 29 (EFE).- North Korea said Wednesday that the weapon it test-fired the previous day was its first hypersonic missile, an asset that leader Kim Jong-un said at the beginning of the year was in development.

The launch of the missile, named Hwasong-8, was carried out by the Academy of Defense Science from Toyang-ri in northern Jagang province, although Kim was not in attendance, according to the state news agency KCNA.

Although it is a technology that is currently underdeveloped and very few countries have it operational, hypersonic missiles can break the sound barrier by at least five times – exceeding 6,000 kilometers per hour – which would make them difficult to intercept.

The test has served to promote this weapon, the development of which is “one of 5 top-priority tasks of the five-year plan facing the field of strategic weapon” from the congress of the single party in January, KCNA said.

During the missile test, national defense scientists “confirmed the navigational control and stability of the missile in the active section and also its technical specifications including the guiding maneuverability and the gliding flight characteristics of the detached hypersonic gliding warhead.”

“It also ascertained the stability of the engine as well as of missile fuel ampoule that has been introduced for the first time,” KCNA said.

The test results “proved that all the technical specifications met the design requirements,” it added.

The development of this missile “is of great strategic significance” in boosting the “independent power of ultra-modern defense science and technology of the country and in increasing the nation’s capabilities for self-defense in every way.”

The latest North Korean test exemplifies the recent arms escalation on the peninsula.

Pyongyang tested two ballistic missiles last week and a cruise missile before that, to which Seoul responded by testing its first submarine-launched ballistic missile and announcing new weapons developments.

North Korea, which this year has reactivated nuclear fuel reprocessing facilities, has still not responded to the United States’ offer to reactivate the denuclearization talks, stalled since 2019. EFE


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