North Korea says it fired new ‘hypersonic missile’

North Korea says it fired new 'hypersonic missile'
North Korean state media released a photo which it said was the Hwasong-8 missile. Source: Reuters
2 Min Read

Daily US Times: North Korea has claimed that the missile it launched successfully is a new hypersonic missile called Hwasong-8.

The country’s state media KCNA said the new hypersonic missile was one of “five most important” new weapons systems laid out in its five-year military development plan.

Pyongyang described the new missile a “strategic weapon”, which usually means it has nuclear capabilities.

Tuesday’s missile test is another indication of the North’s growing weapons technology amid strict sanctions.

North Korean state news outlet KCNA said: “The development of this weapons system…[has increased] the nation’s capabilities for self-defence in every way.”

The latest launch also marked North Korea’s third missile test this month. The country has already introduced a new type of cruise missile, as a well as a new train-launched ballistic missile system.

Hypersonic missiles are more agile and much faster than normal ones, making them much harder for missile defence systems to intercept.

KCNA stated that the test launch confirmed the “navigational control and stability of the missile”.

The North Korean state media also added that North Korea had introduced missile fuel ampoule for the first time.

At an earlier meeting in January, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un had also declared that scientists had “finished research” into developing hypersonic gliding warheads. Tuesday’s test was the first for this new system.

Ankit Panda, Stanton Senior Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace said that the push to develop a hypersonic glider isn’t all too surprising given that Kim Jong Un had indicated this back in January.

You may read: German centre-left narrowly wins the election