North Korea has successfully tested hypersonic missiles, state media reported yesterday in its first major weapons test of the year by nuclear-armed nations. This was the second reported test of what claimed to be a hypersonic gliding missile because North Korea pursued advanced technology despite international sanctions and criticism.
Hypersonic missiles move much faster and are more agile than standard ones, making it much more difficult for the US’s multi-billion dollar missile defense system to intercept. The missile launched on Wednesday was equipped with a “hypersonic gliding warhead” that “accurately hit a target 700 km away” without identifying the launcher, the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported.
The warhead also showed a “new” ability, adding that it moved 120km laterally after leaving the launcher and attacking the target.
“The continuous success of test launches in the hypersonic missile sector has strategic importance,” KCNA said.
Hypersonic missiles have been listed as a “top priority” agenda for strategic weapons in North Korea’s current five-year plan, and announced the first test of Hwasong-8 last September. According to KCNA, the “fuel ampoule system in winter weather conditions” was also tested at the launch on Wednesday.
The ampoule system includes a propellant canister attached to the missile during missile manufacturing, eliminating the need to fuel the missile at the launch site. This is superior to regular liquid fuel missiles, which must be loaded with propellant in the field just before launch. This is a time-consuming process that gives the enemy ample opportunity to find and destroy the missile.
Hypersonic missiles can be equipped with conventional and nuclear warheads, depending on their design, and can change the strategic balance. They are generally defined to move more than five times the speed of sound, or Mach 5. The KCNA report did not mention the speed at which the missile moved on Wednesday, and no assessment of the missile’s performance from other countries has yet been published.
“North Korea seems to have identified hypersonic gliders as a military requirement (perhaps because it recognizes that this is effective in dealing with BMD),” said the US think-tank Carnegie Endowment for Peace, Ankit Panda. Tweeted mentioning ballistic missile defense. “Evaluating how effective these missiles really are requires independent and detailed data, but looking at the two North Korean statements about Hwasong-8 and this missile at face value, this test Seems to be better than the one in September. “, Pandas have been added.
Some experts warn that the benefits of hypersonic weapons may be limited, while others warn that if North Korea fully develops its technology, it poses a serious threat. Ten years after Kim Jong Un came to power, his country made rapid progress in its military technology at the expense of international sanctions.
In 2021, in addition to the hypersonic Hwasong-8, Pyeongyang said it had successfully tested new types of submarine-launched ballistic missiles, long-range cruise missiles, and train-launched weapons. The United States, Japan, Canada and Germany have blamed Wednesday’s test.
“This launch violates several UN Security Council resolutions and poses a threat to (North Korea’s) neighbors and the international community,” a US State Department spokesman said Wednesday.
Berlin yesterday called on North Korea to “accept the offer of negotiations proposed by the United States and South Korea and begin serious negotiations on the dismantling of its nuclear and missile programs,” according to a statement from the German Foreign Ministry. Dialogue between Washington and Pyongyang has been stalled after the collapse of negotiations between Kim and then-US President Donald Trump in 2019.
Under Joe Biden, Trump’s successor, the United States has repeatedly declared its intention to meet a North Korean representative, stating that it seeks denuclearization. However, North Korea has so far rejected the offer, accusing Washington of pursuing a “hostile” policy. North Korea says it needs weapons to protect itself from the invasion of the United States.
http://www.gulf-times.com/story/707544/N-Korea-tests-hypersonic-missile-reports-state-med North Korea tests hypersonic missiles and reports on state media