North Korea tests its own hypersonic weapon, Japan protests


North Korea's (North Korea) hypersonic weapons program appears to be improving and growing. The country claims to have successfully carried out the latest test of a hypersonic vehicle on Wednesday (5/1). This is the second trial conducted in just three months.

The vehicle performed a 120-kilometer lateral maneuver and precisely hit the target 700km from the launch site, according to a statement released by the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

"The test launch clearly demonstrated the control and stability of the hypersonic glide warhead, which combines multi-stage glide jump flight and powerful lateral movement," KCNA said in a statement.

North Korea carried out its first hypersonic test launch on September 28. The test involved a missile called the Hwasong 8, which appears to be carrying a different type of hypersonic vehicle than the one that flew on Wednesday.

"It looks like the North Koreans identified hypersonic launchers as a military requirement, perhaps because they found them effective in dealing with ballistic missile defense. After that, they likely authorized at least two separate development programs," said Ankit Panda, a senior fellow at Carnegie's International Peace Nuclear Policy Program. Endowments.

Hypersonic vehicles are by definition at least five times faster than the speed of sound, or Mach 5. But speed is not their main selling point, but rather their maneuverability. Because they are so agile, hypersonic missiles are more difficult to track and destroy than intercontinental ballistic missiles that follow predictable trajectories.

The United States, Russia and China have prioritized the development of hypersonic weapons in recent years. These countries view it as a potential game-changer in the upcoming conflict. North Korea has apparently made the same calculation.

North Korea is far from a great power, but the rest of the world is tracking its missile and weapons programs closely because North Korea has nuclear weapons and is run by a dictator Kim Jong Un, who tends to make dire threats to the United States, Japan, South Korea and other countries. -other countries that are considered enemies.

The UN Security Council has sought to impose a range of weapons-related sanctions over the past decade and a half. But North Korea continues to scoff at the move. For example, they conducted four test launches last fall, including the launch of the Hwasong 8 and an October test involving a submarine-launched ballistic missile.

"It is regrettable that North Korea has repeatedly launched missiles since last year. The Japanese government will strengthen warning and surveillance more than ever," said Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.

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