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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un oversees hypersonic missile test

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Friday, January 14, 2022

On Wednesday, North Korean state-run newspaper Rodong Sinmun reported a Tuesday hypersonic missile launch attended by leader Kim Jong Un and high-ranking politicians Jo Yong Won and Kim Yo Jong. This was the third missile North Korea (DPRK) launched this year. It flew for 1,000 kilometers (621 mi) before hitting the sea, state media claimed.

"The Juche weapon representing the power of the DPRK" and of "superior maneuverability" was test-fired for "final verification of overall technical specifications", according to state media. In an email sent to Al Jazeera, professor Leif-Eric Easley at Ewha University in Seoul, South Korea said "[the] so-called hypersonic weapon is not technologically ready". South Korean military authorities at first downplayed the missile, but later said it showed "improvement", the Yonhap News Agency reported.

Earlier this year, North Korea conducted two missile tests: one last Wednesday, and a second one on Monday, which was confirmed by both South Korea and the Japanese coast guard. The first launch was a winter resilience test, state media claimed. North Korea tested its first hypersonic missile, Hwasong-8, on September 28. Ankit Panda, a defence expert from Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said last Wednesday's missile was not a Hwasong-8, but a new model unveiled at an October weapons exhibition in Pyongyang, North Korea. After the September test, Panda called Hwasong-8 a "significant milestone" in comments to the BBC.

On Monday, the United Nations (UN) missions of Albania, France, the Republic of Ireland, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States jointly called for dialogue and renounced the first test. The US ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield called it "a significant threat to regional stability". On Tuesday, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said the tests worry him ahead of the country's coming presidential election scheduled for March.

Hypersonic missiles are faster and can evade radar detection longer than regular ballistic missiles, the BBC explained.

2 Comments

  • Ray Cooney

    Ray Cooney

    8:43 PM, 22-01-2022

    Not so sure this type of technology is beneficial to people in the wrong hands it could be a disaster for mankind

    0 Reply
  • Bubacarr

    Bubacarr

    2:46 PM, 21-01-2022

    Improvement in technology

    0 Reply

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