North Korea has released the first image of its deadly ‘new hypersonic missile’ which it launched into the Sea of Japan yesterday.
In the early hours of yesterday morning, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff confirmed that the North had launched an “unidentified projectile”.
The Japanese Government confirmed the launch and said that it appeared to be a “ballistic missile” which landed outside of their territorial waters.
The unsettling image of the weapon has been released by Kim Jong-un’s rogue country. It was published alongside a lengthy statement in Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper and propaganda mouthpiece of North Korea’s ruling party.
It revealed that Park Jeong-cheon, secretary of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea and a leading member of the Politburo, observed the test launch with leading “defence science” officials.
The statement read: “On the morning of September 28, the Academy of Defence Science of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea conducted a test launch of the newly developed hypersonic missile ‘Hwasong-8’.
“The development of this weapon system, which has been regarded as the most important project in the special interest of the Party Central Committee, has great strategic significance in remarkably enhancing the country’s independent state-of-the-art defence science and technology.
“In the first test launch, defence scientists confirmed the missile’s flight manoeuvrability and stability in the active section.
“As a result of the test, all the technical indicators that were intended were satisfied.”
It went on to say that Park Jeong-cheon understood the “strategic importance” and “military significance” of the new hypersonic missile.
South Korean sources have said that the missile, which flew less than 200km (124mi) at an altitude of around 60km (37km), demonstrated “different flight features from the missiles the North previously tested”.
“HGVs follow a much flatter and lower trajectory compared with traditional ballistic missiles, it is hard to detect and intercept them,” explained professor Kim Dong-yup of Kyungnam University’s Far East Institute.
The news of this new weapon comes just under two weeks after North Korea tested two traditional ballistic missiles.
At the time, Japanese prime minister Yoshihide Suga dubbed the testing “an outrageous violation of UN resolutions”.
Rodong Sinmun published photographs of the launches. These photos showed missiles being launched from behind a train.
In the accompanying statement, it was also stated that these tests were successful.
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