North Korea announced that it conducted the first test-fire of a new hypersonic missile – a weapon of “strategic significance” in bolstering Pyongyang’s self-defence capabilities.
According to the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), the Korean People’s Army (KPA) successfully tested a hypersonic missile for the first time on September 28.
The above information comes just a few days after the US successfully test-fired its own hypersonic weapon for the first time.
“KPA has accelerated the development of hypersonic missiles according to a reliable scientific development process. This is one of the top five priority tasks of the five-year plan for strategic weapons, aimed at The development of defense science and weapons systems was set out at the 8th Party Congress,” KCNA reported.
North Korea’s hypersonic missile is named the Hwasong-8 and was fired from the Ryongrim district of Jagang province, in the southeastern part of the country.
“During the first test launch, defense scientists confirmed the missile’s stability and navigation control capabilities, as well as other technical parameters, including guided maneuverability and navigational capabilities. The flight characteristics of the hypersonic warhead, the North Korean news agency reported.
“Test results have proved that all specifications meet the design requirements,” KCNA said .
Pak Jong Chon, a senior North Korean official, oversaw the launch. A North Korean newspaper also published a photo showing the type of hypersonic missile flying into the sky in the morning.
Apart from North Korea, the only countries that have successfully developed hypersonic weapons include Russia, China and the United States, Sputnik news agency reported .
Since 2018, North Korea has tested several types of short-range ballistic missiles that the KPA has claimed can evade US air defenses in South Korea. Last month, Pyongyang also unveiled a new long-range cruise missile.
Earlier, in early August, after South Korea conducted a major joint military exercise with the United States, Kim Yo Jong, deputy director of the Propaganda and Agitation Department of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK), said Pyongyang would “strengthen the build a stronger national defense to be able to respond quickly to any military threat.”