SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – North Korea says leader Kim Jong Un is overseeing the effective testing of hypersonic missiles that he says will add “a” barrier to war “in the country.
A North Korean press report on Wednesday came a day after US forces, South Korea and Japan announced that North Korea was launching a missile suspected of flying in its eastern frontier.
The Korea Central News Agency reports that Tuesday’s launch affected a high-speed vehicle, which, after being released from a rocket booster, showed “flight” and “steering” before hitting a 1,000-mile (621-kilometer) offshore. Photographs released by the agency show a hive with sharp edges like a cone rising into the air and leaving a flame of fire and Kim looking at a small apartment with senior officials.
The establishment was North Korea’s second test of its so-called hypersonic weapons in one week, the first of its kind tested in September, as Kim continues to push for increased nuclear power in the face of global sanctions, epidemic problems. also diplomacy was disrupted by the United States.
The North has been expanding its experimental operations since the last fall on what experts see as an attempt to force fighters Washington and Seoul to accept as a nuclear power and hope to find relief from economic sanctions.
The KCNA said Kim commended the efforts made by his military scientists and officials in the development of hypersonic weapons, which he described as a key component of the new five-year plan announced in early 2021 to form the North Army.
The North has stated that the new missile is part of its “strategic” weapons, meaning that the system is being developed to deliver nuclear weapons.
Hypersonic weapons, which fly faster than Mach 5, or five times the speed of noise, can be extremely difficult for a machine gun because of their speed and precision. Such weapons were on the hunt for high-tech weapons that Kim unveiled earlier last year along with a large number of weapons, spy satellites, heavy-duty offshore launchers, and nuclear weapons fired by submarines.
Experts say North Korea should be on the verge of finding a reliable hypersonic route. But Kim’s presence at the launch Tuesday and what reporters describe as a “fire test” indicates that the north is expected to launch the weapon soon.
“The efficiency of the hypersonic glide vehicle was significantly enhanced by the final fire,” said KCNA. It also noted that Kim emphasized the need to accelerate the development of a “world-class army at a decent rate and to a large extent and to advance the armed forces” and to encourage military scientists to continue their achievements in “the extraordinary development of the country.”
U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price said Washington was critical of the recent establishment of the North, which violates several UN Security Council considerations and threatens neighbors and the international community. The U.S. Indo-Pacific Command stated that the ordinance reflects the “damage to the (North Korean) illegal weapons program” but did not harm the US or its institutions.
“We continue to urge the DPRK to refrain from deliberate harassment, and, most importantly, to hold regular talks,” Price said, citing North Korea’s name, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
South Korean officials Joint Chiefs of Staff said the North Korean missile flew 700 kilometers (434 miles) at a maximum speed around Mach 10 before landing on the northeast coast.
South Korea’s defense ministry played North Korea’s first test on January 5, insisting that the North had developed its skills after testing a common weapon and doubting that the North had acquired the necessary technology for hypersonic weapons. After Tuesday’s inauguration, the Chief of Staff said in a statement that North showed a much higher level of skill compared to its previous exams, but did not elaborate.
Kim entered the new year and renewed her pledge to strengthen her military, even as the country struggles with the epidemic crisis that has severely damaged its economy, hampered by US-led nuclear sanctions. The economic crisis has left Kim unmotivated in her negotiations with former US President Donald Trump, which was disrupted after their second summit in 2019 when the United States rejected North Korea’s demands to end serious sanctions in exchange for a slight nuclear defeat.
The Biden government, whose policies have shown significant change in US monitoring from counter-terrorism and so-called tyrannical countries such as North Korea and Iran to face China’s closest enemy, says it is ready to resume talks with North Korea “anywhere.” without qualifications.
But North Korea has rejected the idea of open dialogue, saying the US should abandon “disgusting principles,” a term North Korea uses to describe sanctions and the US-South Korean military alliance.
AP Writer Matthew Lee in Washington contributed to the story.