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North Korea announces test launch of newly developed long-range cruise missile

North Korean state-run media announced on 13 September that Pyongyang test-launched a newly developed long-range cruise missile on 11 and 12 September. (Rodong Sinmun)

Three days after holding a scaled-down military parade, North Korea announced that it has test-launched what it described as a newly developed long-range cruise missile.

Pyongyang's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported on 13 September that the new missile type was “successfully” test-fired on both 11 and 12 September by the country's Academy of Defense Science.

The state-run media outlet noted that each of the tested missiles flew “for 7,580 seconds [about 126 minutes] along oval and figure-of-eight flight patterns above the DPRK's [Democratic People's Republic of Korea's] territorial land and waters”, travelling approximately 1,500 km, after which the missiles struck their targets. Janes understands that the oval and figure-of-eight flight patterns were used to simulate the engagement of targets at long range without the target actually being 1,500 km away.

The development of the missile, the designation of which has yet to be disclosed, was “pushed forward according to the research and development process for the past two years”, during which time detailed tests of its systems and components were performed. These included a number of engine ground thrust tests, various flight trials, control and guidance tests, as well as “warhead power tests”, according to the media outlet.

Referring to its importance for the communist regime, the KCNA described the new missile system as “a strategic weapon of significance in meeting the key target of the Five-Year Plan for the development of the defence science and weapon systems set forth at the 8th Congress of the Party”, which was held in January.

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