North Korea claims hypersonic missile made its first test flight


This photo provided by the North Korean government shows what North Korea claims to be a new hypersonic missile launched from Toyang-ri, Ryongrim County, Jagang Province, North Korea on Tuesday, September 28, 2021. North Korea said Wednesday, September 29.  , 2021, he successfully tested the new hypersonic missile which he hinted was being developed as nuclear capable as he continued to expand its military capabilities while putting pressure on Washington and Seoul on long-standing nuclear weapons negotiations.  Independent journalists were not allowed to cover the event depicted in this image released by the North Korean government.  The contents of this image are as supplied and cannot be independently verified.  The Korean language watermark on the image as supplied by the source reads as follows: "KCNA" which is the abbreviation for Korean Central News Agency.  (Korean Central News Agency / Korean News Service via AP)

This photo provided by the North Korean government shows what North Korea claims to be a new hypersonic missile launched from Toyang-ri, Ryongrim County, Jagang Province, North Korea on Tuesday, September 28, 2021. North Korea said Wednesday, September 29. , 2021, he successfully tested the new hypersonic missile which he hinted was being developed as nuclear capable as he continued to expand its military capabilities while putting pressure on Washington and Seoul on long-standing nuclear weapons negotiations. Independent journalists were not allowed to cover the event depicted in this image released by the North Korean government. The contents of this image are as supplied and cannot be independently verified. The Korean language watermark on the image provided by the source reads: “KCNA,” which is the abbreviation for Korean Central News Agency. (Korean Central News Agency / Korean News Service via AP)

PA

North Korea said on Wednesday it had successfully tested a new hypersonic missile it said was being developed as nuclear-capable as it continues to expand its military capabilities and put pressure on Washington and Seoul for long-standing nuclear weapons negotiations.

The missile test on Tuesday morning was North Korea’s third round of launches this month and came shortly before the North Korean envoy to the UN accuses the United States of hostility and demands the Biden administration to put a definitive end to joint military exercises with South Korea and the deployment of strategic assets in the region.

A photo published in North Korean state media showed a mounted missile with a finned cone-shaped payload hovering through the air amid bright orange flames. The official Korean Central News Agency said the missile in its first flight test met key technical requirements, including launch stability and handling and flight characteristics of the “detached hypersonic planing warhead.”

The South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff considered the missile to be at an early stage of development and said North Korea would need “a lot of time” to be able to deploy it in an operational manner.

The North’s announcement came a day after the South Korean and Japanese military said they detected North Korea firing a missile into its eastern sea. The US Indo-Pacific Command said the launch highlighted “the destabilizing impact of (North Korea’s) illicit weapons program.”

In a separate report, KCNA said the northern parliament opened on Tuesday and discussed national issues such as economic policies and youth education and that the meetings will continue. Some pundits believe the North could use the session to resolve the standoff over nuclear diplomacy, but the state media report made no mention of Washington and Seoul.

At a ruling party meeting in January, Leader Kim Jong Un named hypersonic glide vehicles, which are launched from a rocket before hovering over a target, among a wishlist of military assets sophisticated. KCNA described the new missile as a significant addition to the country’s “strategic” weaponry, implying that the system is being developed to deliver nuclear weapons.

The report also says the test confirmed the stability of the missile’s fuel capsule, indicating technology to pre-add a liquid propellant and keep it ready for launch for years. And a North Korean official said the North plans to expand the system to all of its liquid-fueled missiles.

Liquid-fueled missiles are more vulnerable than solid-fueled missiles because they must be powered separately and transported to launch sites using trucks that can be seen by enemy satellites or other military means.

Kim Dong-yub, a professor at the Seoul University of North Korean Studies, said North Korea is trying to improve the mobility of these weapons.

Last week, North Korea made offers to improve relations with South Korea under certain conditions, apparently reverting to its tendency to mix weapons displays with peace overtures to wrest foreign concessions.

Negotiations over its nuclear program have been deadlocked since February 2019. North Korea has demanded the lifting of US-led sanctions while insisting it has the right to have nuclear weapons. U.S. officials have made it clear that the sanctions will remain in place until the North takes concrete steps towards denuclearization.

Kim Jong Un, in recent political speeches, pledged to strengthen his nuclear program as a deterrent against the United States. North Korea mainly refers to the sanctions and joint US-Korean military exercises that the North sees as a repeat invasion.

Kim’s influential sister contacted Seoul twice last week, saying her country was open to resuming talks and reconciliation measures if the conditions were right.

Analysts say North Korea is using the South’s desire for an inter-Korean engagement to pressure Seoul to obtain concessions from Washington on Kim’s behalf as it renews its attempt to exploit its nuclear weapons for essential economic and security advantages.

North Korea’s arms exhibitions could also aim to bolster national unity as Kim faces perhaps his most difficult time with nearly a decade of rule, with pandemic border closures sparking a yet another shock to an economy battered by sanctions and decades of mismanagement.

Experts say the North will likely continue testing activities over the next few months as it ramps up its lobbying campaign, at least until China starts pushing for calm ahead of the Beijing Olympics in the United States. early next year.

About Dawn Valle

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