North Korea Tests New Solid-Fuel Hypersonic Missile

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North Korea claims successfully testing a new type of solid-fueled hypersonic intermediate-range missile called Hwasongpho-16-Na, which according to the Korean Central News Agency marks a significant development in the country’s defense capability.

The KCNA report claims the test was conducted by confining the range of the missile to 1,000 kilometers. “The hypersonic glide vehicle, separated from the missile after its launch northeastward at an army unit’s training field in a suburb of Pyongyang, reached its first peak at the height of 101.1 kilometers and the second peak at the height of 72.3 kilometers while making the 1,000-km-long flight as scheduled and accurately landed on the waters of the East Sea of Korea,” stated the report.

Leader Kim Jong Un hailed the testing and called it a “powerful strategic offensive weapon” that showcases the ability of the country’s ‘defense science and technology’, adding that this will come in handy in ‘enhancing the nuclear war deterrent of the armed forces’ of North Korea.

This announcement by the North Korean media comes only a day after South Korean and Japanese militaries detected a missile being launched from near North Korea’s capital towards its eastern sea, as was reported by AP.

According to Interesting Engineering, North Korea has been developing more weapons with solid propellants in recent years, which makes launches harder to detect than liquid-propellant missiles that have to be fueled before liftoffs and cannot last long. The North Korean leader announced back in 2021 that he plans to modernize North Korea’s military with advanced weapons, including a hypersonic missile, and experts claim he is pushing hard for a modernized weapons arsenal.

While KCNA didn’t provide any other details about the hypersonic missile or the technical nature of the test, hypersonic weapons fly at over five times the speed of sound, and can challenge regional missile defense due to speed and maneuverability.

Analysts say Russia is helping North Korea in improving its satellites and other weapons, while North Korea has allegedly shipped artillery shells and other equipment to Russia to help its war in Ukraine, while supposedly getting oil, military technology, and other help from Moscow in return.