North Korea tests launch of new long-range cruise missile

North Korea over the weekend rehearsed his new model of “missile long-distance cruise ”, announced a state press agency, calling the operation“ successful ”.

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The trial launches took place on Saturday and Sunday and were supervised by senior officials, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.

The missiles traveled for 7,580 seconds over North Korea and its territorial waters, hitting targets 1,500 km away, KCNA added.

They described the missile as “a strategic weapon of great significance”

The agency called the missile “a strategic weapon of great significance”, adding that “the efficiency and functionality of the weapons system confirmed to be excellent.”

He also said that the development of the missile system has “strategic significance”, giving North Korea “another means of deterrence” to protect itself and “strongly contain military maneuvers by hostile forces.”

The Pentagon did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the announcement of the launches, made shortly after a low-key parade in Pyongyang to mark the 73rd anniversary of the founding of the country.

North Korea often displays missiles, real or model, at such parades, but this time its most prominent weapons were tractor-drawn artillery pieces.

The weekend’s missile launch is the country’s first since March

Pyongyang has not conducted a nuclear test or ICBM since 2017. The isolated communist country faces numerous international sanctions for its nuclear and ballistic programs, which it continues to develop.

Its nuclear talks with the United States have been stalled since 2019, and the impoverished country has shown no willingness to abandon its atomic arsenal. Rather, it has reneged on South Korea’s efforts to restart the dialogue.

Sung Kim, US President Joe Biden’s envoy for North Korea, has repeatedly expressed his willingness to meet with his counterparts “anywhere, anytime.”

The International Atomic Energy Agency said in August that Pyongyang appeared to have reactivated the Yongbyon nuclear reactor, warning that this was “deeply troubling.”

Last week, South Korea tested a submarine-launched, self-made ballistic missile, a technology that its neighbor to the north has wanted to develop.

Pyongyang exhibited four such missiles in January during a military parade overseen by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and KCNA called them “the most powerful weapon in the world.”

But while North Korea has released photographs of underwater launches, the most recent in 2019, analysts believe they were launched from fixed platforms and not a submarine.

With information from AFP

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