North Korea test-fires ‘hypersonic’ missile: Official

North Korea on Thursday said it successfully test-fired a hypersonic missile a day earlier.

The state news agency KCNA said the country’s Academy of Defence Science test-fired a hypersonic missile on Wednesday.

The launch was reportedly watched by leading party officials and scientists.

During the test on Wednesday, the rocket hit a predetermined target 700km away in a test that state media said was of “strategic importance.”

Hypersonic describes speeds above five times the speed of sound or about 6,180km per hour. Weapons of this type are difficult to intercept.

It would be the second test of such a missile by North Korea in four months. In September the country said it had launched a Hwasong-8 hypersonic missile.

South Korea and Japan said on Wednesday that North Korea fired at least one missile.

North Korea last tested a ballistic missile in October.

Tests with such missiles were prohibited by UN resolutions.

Pyongyang has continued working on missiles capable of being equipped with nuclear warheads for years. It is therefore subject to severe international sanctions.

Negotiations between North Korea and the United States have not made any progress since a failed summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and then-U.S. president Donald Trump in Vietnam in February 2019.


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