North Korea says test-fired new hypersonic missile
North Korea says it has successfully test-fired a newly-developed hypersonic missile, in a move it said is strategically significant in the development of the domestic nuclear weapons technology.
Pyongyang confirmed that the missile, dubbed the Hwasong-8, was launched from Jagang Province early Tuesday morning, according to the North’s official news agency KCNA,
The news agency published a photo that showed a missile mounted with a finned, cone-shaped payload soaring into the air amid bright orange flames.
The launch was of "great strategic significance," it said. “In the first test-launch, national defense scientists confirmed the navigational control and stability of the missile.”
The report said that the missile performed to its technical specifications "including the guiding maneuverability and the gliding flight characteristics of the detached hypersonic gliding warhead."
Developing the hypersonic missile was one of five "top priority" tasks in the five-year plan for strategic weapons, KCNA said.
Back in January, the North’s Leader, Kim Jong-un, declared that his country was working to develop hypersonic warheads, a nuclear-powered submarine, military reconnaissance satellites and solid-fuel ICBMs.
The launch was watched by top official Pak Jong-chon, said KCNA, without mentioning whether Kim had also inspected it.
Seoul's Joint Chiefs of Staff claimed on Wednesday that the South Korean and US militaries were "capable of detecting and intercepting it.’