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North Korea claims to have tested Hwaseong-18 solid-fuel ICBM

A televised footage of a North Korean Hwaseong-18 missile test, at a railway station in Seoul on 13 April 2023. (Jung Yeon-je/AFP via Getty Images)

North Korea has test-fired a new solid-fuelled intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) known as Hwaseong-18, state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported.

According to KCNA, the missile was test-fired on 13 April to ”confirm the performance of the high-thrust solid-fuel engines for multistage missiles”.

KCNA added that the test demonstrated the reliability of the stage-jettisoning technology and various functional control systems, and estimated the military feasibility of the missile.

The test was conducted using the standard trajectory flying mode for the first stage and the vertical mode for the second and third stages, KCNA said. “The aim [of the test] was to analyse the technological features of the weapon system by limiting the maximum speed of the missile through delayed stage separation and motor reactivation.”

“The first stage of the missile landed in the waters 10 km off the Hodo Peninsula in South Hamgyong province and the second stage [landed] 335 km east of Orang County in North Hamgyong province,” KCNA added.

According to KCNA, the test proved the “accuracy of the new type [of] ICBM”. The Hwaseong-18 will be operated by the strategic force of North Korea under the long-term plan to build the nuclear force, KCNA added.

The country's leader, Kim Jong-un, said, “The development of the Hwaseong-18 will extensively reform the strategic deterrence components of the country, radically promote the effectiveness of the country's nuclear counterattack posture and bring about a change in the practicality of the country's offensive military strategy.”

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