N. Korea Claims Test-Firing of Hypersonic Missile

Politics

Seoul, Sept. 29 (Jiji Press)--North Korea's state-run news agency reported Wednesday that the country's Academy of National Defense Science conducted its first test-firing of a newly developed hypersonic missile the previous day.

The Korean Central News Agency was apparently referring to the short-range missile that was fired eastward from the inland province of Jagang in North Korea. The missile launch was detected by Japan, South Korea and others.

The KCNA reported that the missile called Hwasong-8 was test-fired in Jagang. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was not present at the missile launch site. Pak Jong Chon, a senior official of the political bureau of the ruling Workers' Party, observed the test-firing.

It is believed to be difficult to intercept hypersonic missiles with existing missile defense systems as they travel at least five times the speed of sound. The United States, China and Russia are competing in developing such missiles.

The KCNA said that the development of hypersonic missiles is one of most important projects included in North Korea's five-year plan to develop its national defense and weapon systems.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press