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Pyongyang confirms new missile launches

North Korea disclosed on 28 January details about its latest missile launch tests. The tests are the latest in a flurry of launches since the start of the year.

Pyongyang said through its official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) that launches on 25 and 27 January featured a “long-range cruise missile” and tests to verify the conventional warhead capability for “surface-to-surface tactical guided missile”. Neither missile was identified.

KCNA said the tests were conducted by the country's missile developer, the Academy of Defence Science (ADS), and the Military Industry Department, which is responsible for missile production.

According to KCNA, two long-range cruise missiles – launched on 25 January – flew for 9,137 seconds (about 2.5 hours) along a “set flight trajectory” over the Sea of Japan (East Sea) and hit a target 1,800 km away.

“The practical combat performance of the long-range cruise missile system would hold a reliable share in boosting the war deterrence of the country,” it said.

Two days later the ADS also conducted tests to confirm the conventional warhead capability using two “tactical guided missiles”, said KCNA. It added that these ground-launched missiles hit a “target island with precision” but provided no details about speed and range.

KCNA said the ADS and missile warhead institute “will continue to develop powerful warheads capable of performing combat function and mission”.

South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said it had detected that the weapons launched on 27 January were likely short range. It said the missiles were launched from the town of Hamhung on the east coast of North Korea and flew 190 km at a maximum altitude of 20 km before landing in the East Sea.

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