N.Korea releases details of missile launch; S.Korea says missile tech may have improved

Officials in North Korea have shared the details of their latest missile launch. The ruling Workers’ Party newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, said authorities fired off a hypersonic missile on Tuesday morning.

The paper reported that leader Kim Jong Un watched the test. The article quoted Kim as saying the country must ramp up its military power, to strengthen deterrence.

Photos that accompanied the article show a mobile launcher firing off a single missile. The paper said the missile flew 1000 kilometers and hit its intended target.

North Korea claims a separate launch last Wednesday was also a hypersonic missile, which is designed to travel at five times the speed of sound.

South Korean defense officials have compared the two launches. They said the missile that went up last week only reached hypersonic speeds for a portion of the flight. They said the latest one flew further and traveled twice as fast.

South Korea’s Yonhap news agency says North Korea’s assertion that it conducted a successful test with Kim in attendance suggests that it is only a matter of time before Pyongyang deploys a missile that is difficult to detect and intercept.

One South Korean expert says the missile, which is an important weapon for North Korea, is close to completion, but the country will probably try to make further technological improvements rather than deploy it immediately.

Last year, North Korea announced a five-year defense plan, which includes the development of various types of missiles.


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