Sep 29, 2021 - World

North Korea claims it tested hypersonic missile

A screenshot of the purported launch, released by North Korea's state-run KCNA news agency.
A screenshot of the purported launch, released by North Korea's state-run KCNA news agency.

North Korea's military fired a "newly developed hypersonic missile" on Tuesday, according to the state-run KCNA news agency.

Why it matters: KCNA indicated that the North Korean military has nuclear capabilities with this missile when it referred to it as a "strategic weapon."

  • North Korea's UN envoy demanded Tuesday that the U.S. and South Korea end their joint military exercises and what he described as their "hostile policy" toward Pyongyang — hours after a short-range missile was detected being launched from North Korea into the sea.
  • North Korea's military also launched new long-range cruise missiles and ballistic missiles into the sea this month, ratcheting up tensions in the region.

Details: "In the first test-launch, national defense scientists confirmed the navigational control and stability of the missile," KCNA said of the latest launch.

  • It claimed that the missile performed to its technical targets, "including the guiding maneuverability and the gliding flight characteristics of the detached hypersonic gliding warhead."

The big picture: Negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang on the denuclearization of North Korea have stalled since a second summit between then-President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ended without a deal in 2019.

Between the lines: Pyongyang officials last week indicated they sought to improve relations with Seoul if certain conditions were met, in an apparent return to their "pattern of mixing weapons demonstrations with peace overtures to wrest outside concessions," AP notes.

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