Hypersonic weapons are designed to travel in the upper atmosphere at speeds of more than five times the speed of sound, or about 6,200 kilometers (3,853 miles) per hour
North Korea has launched a state-of-the-art hypersonic missile, state media has claimed. The missile was launched by the nation’s military from its east coast, towards the sea, South Korea said Tuesday.
The North Korean state media KCNA later reported that the missile was hypersonic. Hypersonic weapons travel at speeds more than five times that of sound in the upper atmosphere, which is approximately 6,200 km (3,853 miles).
This latest test highlighted the continued development of North Korea’s weapons systems. It raised the stakes for stalled negotiations aimed at dismantling the country’s nuclear and ballistic missile armies in exchange for US sanctions relief.
Pyongyang has called on the United States and South Korea to scrap their “double standards” on weapons programs to restart diplomatic talks. According to the report the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un failed to inspect the launch.
The United States announced Monday that it had successfully tested an air-breathing hypersonic weapon.
The Pentagon stated that this was the first test of the weapon’s class since 2013.
Hypersonic weapons are being pumped into by certain countries because they can rob enemies of their reaction time and traditional methods of blocking them.
In July, Russia said it had successfully tested a Tsirkon(Zircon) hypersonic cruise missile, a weapon President Vladimir Putin has touted as part of a new generation of missile systems without equal in the world.
Today North Korea said its missile, called Hwasong-8, performed to its technical specifications “including the guiding maneuverability and the gliding flight characteristics of the detached hypersonic gliding warhead.”
North Korea and South Korea both test-fired ballistic missiles on September 15, the latest volley in an arms race in which both nations have developed increasingly sophisticated weapons while efforts prove fruitless to get talks going on defusing tensions.
Britain said it condemned the firing of a ballistic missile by North Korea – before the country claimed the weapon was hypersonic – urging Pyongyang to return to talks with the United States and South Korea.
“The UK condemns North Korea’s decision to launch a short-range ballistic missile, in violation of UN Security Council Resolutions,” A spokesperson for Britain’s Foreign Office stated in a statement.
“The UK remains committed to the goal of denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula and commends the diplomatic efforts of the US and regional partners to seek peace on the Korean Peninsula and preserve regional stability. We urge North Korea to return to dialogue.”