North Korea says Kim Jong Un oversaw test of new hypersonic weapon | Weapons News

State media mentioned the the missile – named Hwasong-16B – was a key piece of the nation’s nuclear battle deterrent.

North Korea has mentioned it examined a brand new solid-fuelled hypersonic intermediate-range missile (IRBM) because it continues to increase its weapons programme.

Wednesday’s report within the state-run Korean Central Information Company (KCNA) got here a day after South Korea and Japan detected the launch of a missile from North Korea in direction of the east.

KCNA shared pictures of chief Kim Jong Un on web site close to the weapon, the Hwasong-16B, in addition to together with his navy commanders, lower than two weeks after he supervised a solid-fuel engine check for an IRBM.

Kim lauded the weapon as an illustration of the “absolute superiority” of North Korea’s defence know-how. Pyongyang had developed nuclear-capable, solid-fuel methods for “all of the tactical, operational and strategic missiles with numerous ranges”, he added, based on KCNA.

The Hwasong-16B is solid-fuelled, which implies it may be deployed extra shortly than a liquid-fuelled weapon [KCNA via Reuters]

The North Korean chief promised to additional develop the nation’s arsenal to counter his “enemies”, a reference to Japan, South Korea and the US.

KCNA mentioned the Hwasong-16B flew for about 1,000km (621 miles), reaching a peak altitude of 101km (62 miles). Seoul’s navy mentioned it was airborne for about 600km (370 miles) earlier than splashing down within the sea between South Korea and Japan.

North Korea has targeted on growing extra subtle solid-fuel weapons as a result of they’re simpler to hide and transfer, and will be launched extra shortly. Liquid-propelled weapons must be fuelled earlier than launch and can’t keep fuelled for lengthy durations of time.

Hypersonic weapons, in the meantime, are designed to exceed 5 occasions the pace of sound and may also be maneouvred in flight.

North Korea beforehand mentioned it examined a hypersonic IRBM in January.

The Tuesday launch “seems to be a part of Pyongyang’s missile improvement blueprint, together with hypersonic weapons”, mentioned Han Kwon-hee of the Korea Affiliation of Defence Business Research.

Kim Jong Un with military commanders. They are wearing uniform. He is dressed in black, and wearing a leather bomber jacket
North Korean chief Kim Jong Un mentioned the weapon confirmed the ‘absolute superiority’ of North Korean navy know-how [KCNA via Reuters]

Analysts say such weapons, if perfected, could be probably able to reaching distant US targets within the Pacific, together with the island of Guam.

“North Korea, in declaring that it has totally achieved the nuclear weaponisation of its missiles, additionally emphasised its dedication to arm its hypersonic missiles with nuclear weapons,” Chang Younger-keun, a missile knowledgeable at South Korea’s Analysis Institute for Nationwide Technique, advised the Related Press information company.

“North Korea’s improvement of hypersonic IRBMs targets Guam, which hosts US navy bases, and even Alaska.”

Tensions within the area have risen since 2022 as Kim used Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine as a distraction to speed up his testing of missiles and different weapons. The US and South Korea have responded by increasing their mixed coaching and trilateral drills involving Japan and sharpening their deterrence methods.

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