North Korea strikes again: hypersonic missile tested for first time

11:56, 29 September 2021
North Korea strikes again: hypersonic missile tested for first time

The North Korean officials reported that they successfully launched the newly-developed hypersonic missile Hwasong-8 on Tuesday.

"The development of this weapons system has increased the nation's capabilities for self-defense in every way," North Korean state news agency KCNA said.

Hypersonic missiles can be faster than normal ones, which makes these types harder for defense systems to intercept.

There are no additional details about the launch so far. Early North Korea conducted several different missile tests.

On September 13, DPRA conducted a new long-range cruise missile test, the local media reported. Additionally, North Korea launched two ballistic missiles towards Japan on September 15.

The experts note that this missile can be used as a nuclear weapon as it could fly 930 miles (1,500 km) before hitting the target. The test was carried out on Saturday and Sunday. 

Moreover, the experts have detected the indicators of operating reactors in North Korean Yongbyon station as a discharge of cooling water since July. It could mean that the country might start to produce plutonium and create a nuclear weapon.

The Yongbyon station is the main and biggest Korean nuclear complex. 

The IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) experts have no access to the Yongbyon station since the Korean authorities had kicked agency officers out in 2009. In this regard, the IAEA has to collect all the data using satellites and open source.

Recently, North Korea has also commented on the AUKUS deal saying it would “upset the strategic balance in the Asia-Pacific region” and could trigger a “nuclear arms race.” The country agreed with China saying that the trilateral partnership of building at least eight nuclear-powered submarines will likely destroy regional peace and stability as well as non-proliferation efforts.