North Korea Conducts Successful Test of Hypersonic Missile Technology


North Korea announced on Tuesday that it had successfully tested the technology utilized in its new hypersonic missile. The country’s leader, Kim Jong Un, oversaw the ground jet test of the multi-stage solid-fuel engine for the intermediate-range hypersonic missile at the Sohae Satellite Launching Ground, as reported by the official Korean Central News Agency.

The purpose of this more potent and agile missile is to target distant U.S. locations in the Pacific region, particularly the American territory of Guam, where U.S. military bases are situated.

Kim emphasized the strategic importance of the new missile, asserting its capability to reach the U.S. mainland, and stated that “enemies are well aware of it.” He also praised the “great success” achieved in the crucial test.

North Korea continues its efforts to develop intermediate-range missiles capable of reaching Alaska and closer targets such as U.S. military installations in Japan’s Okinawa island. Additionally, the country is pursuing hypersonic weapons to counter U.S. and South Korean missile defense systems.

In January, North Korea announced the flight-testing of a new solid-fuel intermediate-range ballistic missile equipped with a hypersonic, maneuverable warhead. The country also claimed engine tests for an intermediate-range missile in November.

In recent years, North Korea has focused on developing solid propellants, making launches less detectable compared to liquid-propellant missiles.

The exact speed and maneuverability of North Korea’s hypersonic missiles remain unclear. However, missile expert Chang Young-keun from South Korea’s Research Institute for National Strategy suggested that Tuesday’s engine test indicates North Korea could soon conduct a test launch of the new hypersonic missile.

The development of hypersonic missiles is among several high-tech weapons systems that Kim Jong Un has vowed to achieve amidst what he perceives as escalating hostility from the United States.

On Monday, South Korea, the U.S., and Japan reported detecting multiple ballistic missile test-launches by North Korea, marking the country’s first missile firings in approximately a month. Experts anticipate North Korea may escalate its missile tests ahead of the U.S. presidential election in November.


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