North Korea Professed That It Successfully Tested a Hypersonic Missile

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North Korea Professed That It Successfully Tested a Hypersonic Missile
North Korea is suspected of firing a ballistic missile off its east coast into the sea. The missile landed in the water between the Korean peninsula and Japan, prompting Seoul and Tokyo to condemn it. North Korea is prohibited from testing ballistic and nuclear weapons by the United Nations.

North Korea responded by claiming that it successfully tested a hypersonic missile on Wednesday, according to the state-run news agency KCNA. “The successive successes in the test launches in the hypersonic missile sector have strategic significance in that they hasten a task for modernizing [the] strategic armed force of the state,” according to the state news agency KCNA. The Agency added that the missile had “precisely hit” a target located 700km away.

Hypersonic weapons fly towards targets at lower altitudes, unlike ballistic missiles that fly into outer space before returning on steep trajectories. The missile can achieve more than five times the speed of sound – or about 6,200 kilometres per hour (3,850 miles per hour).

The latest launch - the first since a New Year speech in which Mr Kim set out policy priorities for 2022 - was first reported by the Japanese coast guard early on Wednesday before being confirmed by Seoul’s defence authorities.

This is the second reported hypersonic missile test, which can avoid detection for longer than ballistic missiles. The country first tested a hypersonic missile, the Hwasong-8, in September.

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