North Korea claims it tested a newly developed hypersonic missile, describing its launch Tuesday as a success “of great strategic significance,” according to its official Korea Central News Agency.
National defense scientists “confirmed the navigational control and stability of the missiles” in the test, KCNA reported Wednesday. Pyongyang fired the missile just as its envoy was preparing to address the United Nations, in a defiant move against international resolutions meant to prevent such launches.
The missile flew for about 125 miles, making it difficult for weapons experts to verify the claims. Images of the missile appeared to show what might be a hypersonic glide vehicle attached to the top of one of its long-range missiles.
North Korea fired two-short-range ballistic missiles earlier this month from a train, its first test of ballistic missiles since March. It is barred by U.N. Security Council resolutions from conducting such tests.
According to South Korea’s military, the missile was fired from the northern province of Jagang around 6:40 a.m. Tuesday and landed in waters to the east. The missile’s trajectory — rising about 20 miles into the atmosphere and falling 125 miles away — took it on a different flight course than missiles North Korea has tested over the past two years.
The latest test-fire came just days after Kim Yo Jong, the North Korean leader’s sister, reached out to South Korea for the second time in as many days. She said that Pyongyang would consider taking part in another summit and declaring an end to the 1950-53 Korean War — if Seoul adopted a less hostile policy.
On Tuesday, the U.S. said it reached out to North Korea and is ready to talk about any concerns they have, Yonhap News Agency reported, citing Kin Moy, principal deputy assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs.
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