The second test of advanced weapons underscores Pyongyang’s commitment to modernizing its military despite the UN ban.
North Korea said Wednesday’s missile test was a hypersonic weapon that successfully hit the target.
Launch, market input, Discovered by Japan and South Korea, Although the United Nations prohibits such activities, this is the first and second hypersonic missiles since October.
Unlike ballistic missiles that fly into outer space and then return on a steep trajectory, hypersonic weapons fly to lower altitude targets and can reach more than five times the speed of sound – or about 6,200 kilometers per hour (3,850 miles per hour).
“The continuous success of test launches in the field of hypersonic missiles is of strategic significance because they accelerate the task of modernization. [the] National Strategic Armed Forces,” the state news agency Korea Central News Agency said.
According to the KCNA report, in Wednesday’s test, the “hypersonic glide warhead” disengaged from its rocket booster and moved 120 kilometers (75 miles) laterally, and then “accurately hit” 700 kilometers (435 miles) away. The goal.
It added that the test also confirmed components such as flight control and their ability to operate in winter.
KCNA stated that the missile demonstrated its ability to combine “multi-step gliding and jumping flight with powerful lateral maneuvering.”
Although it has not tested nuclear bombs or long-range intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) since 2017, in recent years, North Korea has developed and launched a series of more mobile missiles and warheads. That kind of missile defense system. Analysts said that South Korea and the United States.
The country first tested a Hwasong-8 hypersonic missile, In September.
Anjit Panda, a senior researcher at the Carnegie Foundation for International Peace in the United States, told Reuters: “My impression is that the North Koreans believe that the hypersonic glider is a potentially useful qualitative method for missile defense.”
Hypersonic weapons are considered to be the next generation of weapons designed to shorten the opponent’s reaction time and traditional frustration mechanisms.
Photos from the test on Wednesday showed that analysts said it was a liquid-fuel ballistic missile with a cone-shaped maneuverable reentry vehicle (MaRV) that launched a cloud of flames and smoke from a wheeled launch vehicle.
Panda said it was different from the weapon tested last year and made its debut at the National Defense Exhibition in Pyongyang in October.
“They may have set up at least two independent development plans,” he added. “One of them is Hwasong-8, which was tested in September. This missile has some things in common with Hwasong-8, it is another.”
The US State Department stated that this week’s test violated multiple UN Security Council resolutions and posed a threat to North Korea’s neighbors and the international community.
The last time North Korea launched a missile was in October, when it stated that it had launched a new type of short-range missile from a submarine.
The Washington-based North Korean monitoring project 38 North reported on Thursday that the ballistic missile submarine had returned to the safety cabin of the Xin Punan Shipyard after a brief hull maintenance after the test.
Since the collapse of a series of summits between leader Kim Jong Un and then-U.S. President Donald Trump in 2019, negotiations aimed at persuading North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile arsenal have stalled.
The administration of US President Joe Biden has expressed its willingness to have dialogue with North Korea, but Pyongyang said that the US’s goodwill are empty rhetoric, and it has not made more substantive changes to its “hostile policies” such as military exercises and sanctions.
The latest test casts doubt on South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s hopes of achieving a diplomatic breakthrough with North Korea before his five-year term ends in May.