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North Korea announced last week it had conducted a successful test flight of a new cruise missile, which it claimed was a “strategic” weapon capable of carrying nuclear warheads.

The Korean Central News Agency reported that the Pulhwasal-3-31 missile flew for over an hour and hit targets 1,500 kilometers away, thus demonstrating its “high efficiency and accuracy.”

The Pulhwasal-3-31 missile is still in its development stage according to the Korean Central News Agency and is not a threat to neighboring countries at the moment. However, it also claimed that the missile was a “powerful means” to deter and counter any “hostile forces” that threaten the North’s security and sovereignty.

According to Interesting Engineering, North Korea has been developing various missiles, including intercontinental ballistic missiles that can reach the US as part of its efforts to enhance its nuclear and missile capabilities. Furthermore, cruise missiles are a potential threat to South Korea and Japan as they are designed to evade radar detection and fly at low altitudes. North Korea claims its cruise missiles have a range of up to 2,000 kilometers, which would cover most of Japan.

This recent missile test follows the rising tensions in the region, as North Korea continues to develop weapons and make aggressive statements against the United States and its allies. An example is the recent joint military exercises of the US, South Korea, and Japan, which North Korea called “rehearsals for invasion and a provocation that justifies its nuclear build-up”.

The country’s leader Kim Jong-Un recently announced that North Korea had abandoned its goal of peacefully unifying with South Korea and called for a revision of North Korea’s constitution to define South Korea as its “biggest enemy.”