North Korea test-fires new hypersonic missile
North Korea has tested a solid-fuel ballistic missile armed with a hypersonic warhead, the Korean Central Telegraphic Agency (KCTA) reported on Monday.
The launch was conducted amid growing tensions with Pyongyang’s southern neighbor, after Seoul recently conducted military drills with the US near the North’s border.
“On January 14, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s [DPRK] Missile General Bureau performed a test launch of a solid-fuel intermediate-range ballistic missile with a hypersonic maneuverable warhead,” the KCTA said, adding that the launch was successful.
The test launch had no impact on the security of neighboring countries and had nothing to do with the “regional situation,” according to the news agency.
Last week, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un accused Seoul of being “most hostile” and of trying to overthrow the leadership in Pyongyang.
South Korea had earlier ordered the evacuation of some of its border islands as North Korea conducted live-fire drills near their volatile maritime border. The maneuvers came shortly after joint US-South Korean drills in the region, which the North called “reckless.”
Seoul’s Defense Ministry condemned the recent launch, saying South Korea would provide an “overwhelming response” if the North commits a “direct provocation.”
The ministry also noted that as part of joint efforts to counter Pyongyang’s military threats, Seoul, Washington, and Tokyo are exchanging real-time data on the North’s missiles. Pyongyang conducted a series of weapons tests in 2023, including its first solid-fuel ICBM.