North Korea tested new type of ‘hypersonic’ missile

Its trajectory was unlike any previous test. North Korea successfully tested a hypersonic glider missile on Tuesday, the official KCNA agency said on Wednesday, which touted the test as a major technological breakthrough. The success of this trial is “of great strategic importance” as Pyongyang seeks to “multiply by a thousand” its defense capabilities, KCNA said.

Hypersonic missiles are much faster – at least Mach 5, or 6,000 km / h, or 1.6 km / s – than conventional ballistic or cruise missiles. They are also much more difficult to detect and intercept by missile defense systems, on which the United States spends billions of dollars.

“Comprehensive analysis”

The South Korean army had announced the launch of a projectile by the North shortly after detecting it Tuesday morning. But unlike usual, she did not officially disclose the maximum altitude reached by the missile or the distance traveled, information that Seoul generally makes public within the hour. According to South Korean media, the projectile launched on Tuesday by North Korea had “different flight characteristics” from the previous ones. South Korean President Moon Jae-In has called for a “comprehensive analysis” of the event.

The test, carried out from Jagang province, in the north of the country, “confirmed the navigation control and stability of the missile” as well as “the maneuverability of its guidance system and the glide characteristics of the missile. ‘detached hypersonic warhead,’ KCNA said.

Pyongyang had already fired several more missiles this month, one involving long-range cruise missiles and another, according to the South Korean military, short-range ballistic missiles.

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