North Korea claims to have fired a hypersonic missile on Tuesday

North Korea fires new missile into Sea of ​​Japan

A hypersonic missile, which has been called the Hwsong-8. This type of cutting-edge weaponry, one of the weapons of the future, is what North Korea claims to have tested for the first time on Tuesday with success in a launch from a location in the Toyang-ri mountains, in Jagang province (center -North of the country). The missile, according to the North Korean news agency KCNA, “demonstrated that all its technical specifications meet the requirements of its design,” including “the gliding flight characteristics of the hypersonic warhead.” The test showed that the projectile is maneuverable, “confirmed its navigation control and the stability of the missile in its active section.”

Barely an hour after the shooting was notified, the North Korean ambassador defended in the United Nations General Assembly the right of his country to test its defense technology. “No one can deny the right of self-defense of the People’s Republic of Korea to develop, test, manufacture and possess weapons systems equivalent to those that they themselves own or are developing,” said Ambassador Kim Song in New York. “We are only building our national defense to reliably safeguard security and peace in the country,” he added.

The new projectile reinforces North Korea’s defense capacity, according to KCNA, which specifies that the Hwasong-8 is “one of the five most important new weapons systems” included in the new five-year plan approved last January, and that it will direct the country’s economy until 2025.

At the Workers’ Party Congress that approved the five-year plan in January, and after four years ago declared the country’s nuclear and ballistic weapons program complete, North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un had presented a list of weapons to be developed in the immediate future. Among the equipment it required were hypersonic missiles, as well as ICBMs, spy satellites, nuclear submarines, and reconnaissance drones. At the time, Kim had assured that his military engineers “had completed the research phase for the development of hypersonic warheads for new types of ballistic rockets.”

The KCNA dispatch specifies that the new missile has a “blister” fuel system, which the North Korean armed forces were testing for the first time. This system allows the loading of liquid fuel into the rockets during their manufacture. This allows soldiers not to have to load fuel into the missile in the moments before firing, when they are possibly under combat conditions.

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Unlike other releases in the past, Kim Jong Un was not present at this test. It was chaired by Park Jong Chong, the North Korean chief of staff, who stressed “the military importance that all missile fuel systems can become blisters.” This launch is the latest episode in a series of messages crossed between the two Koreas, which on the one hand boost his military career and on the other open the door and evoke a possible dialogue.

South Korea had identified the launch early Tuesday. Then, the South Korean General Staff had indicated that the North fired a missile around 6.40 in the morning (23.40 on Monday, Spanish peninsular time). According to the South Korean news agency Yonhap, the projectile covered a distance of about 200 kilometers and reached an altitude of about 30 kilometers.

In a statement after the North Korean announcement, the Southern General Staff wanted to send a message of relative calm. The North Korean “hypersonic” missile appears to be still in the early stages of development, and will continue to develop “even for a long time.” South Korean and US forces, say the South’s commands, have teams that can detect it.

The two Koreas are immersed in a bilateral arms race, and both have tested in the last month various equipment that brings new capabilities to their respective armies. The South has equipped itself with submarines capable of launching missiles, and on the 15th it completed a test of a ballistic projectile, the same day that the North in turn fired two ballistic missiles towards the Sea of ​​Japan. A week later, Kim Yo Jong, Kim Jong Un’s sister and the leader’s right-hand man, had pointed out the possibility of restoring dialogue between the two countries and reestablishing the liaison office in the border town of Kaesong that the North destroyed. last year during an increase in tension between the two nations.

Hypersonic missile development is one of the areas where the United States, Russia and China are vying for leadership. This armament, capable of reaching speeds five times that of sound, combines the precision of cruise missiles – slower – and the speed of ballistic missiles – not very precise. They are highly maneuverable, capable of operating at different heights, and the unpredictability of their trajectory makes them very difficult for enemy missile shields to detect.

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