North Korean leader Kim Jong Un oversees hypersonic missile test

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 third missile North Korea (DPRK) launched this year. It flew for 1,000 kilometers (621 mi) before hitting sea, state media claimed.

A 2018 stock photo of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.Image: Blue House (Republic of Korea).

‚ÄúThe Juche weapon representing the power of the DPRK‚ÄĚ and its ‚Äúsuperior maneuverability‚ÄĚ was test-fired for ‚Äúfinal verification of overall technical specifications‚ÄĚ, according to state media. Professor at Ewha University in Seoul Leif-Eric Easley said in an email to Al Jazeera that ‚ÄúNorth Korea‚Äôs so-called hypersonic weapon is not technologically ready for deployment‚ÄĚ. South Korean military authorities at first downplayed the missile, but later said it showed ‚Äúimprovement‚ÄĚ, the Yonhap News Agency reported.

North Korea conducted its first missile test this year January 5, which was confirmed by both South Korea and the Japanese coast guard. This first launch was then shortly followed by another launch this Monday. The first launch was what state media claimed to be a winter resilience test of the North‚Äôs newly developed hypersonic missiles. North Korea tested their first hypersonic missile, the Hwasong-8 missile, on September 28, 2021. Ankit Panda, a defence expert from Carnegie Endowment for International Peace said this first missile was not the Hwasong-8 model, but a new one unveiled at an October weapons exhibition in Pyongyang. At the time of the September 2021 test, Panda called the Hwasong-8 a ‚Äúsignificant milestone‚ÄĚ in comments made to the BBC.

On Monday, the United Nations 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 ‚Äúa significant threat to regional stability‚ÄĚ. On Tuesday, South Korean president Moon Jae-in said the tests worry him ahead of the country‚Äôs coming presidential election scheduled for March.

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

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Published on 2022-01-14

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Originally posted as: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un oversees hypersonic missile test - Wikinews, the free news source, made available by Wikinews under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Generic license.


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