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North Korea claims to have tested another hypersonic missile

North Korea claims that the missile it tested on 11 January was a hypersonic weapon.

The missile, which was then described by the Japanese Ministry of Defense as a possible ballistic weapon, was launched at about 7.27 am local time into the Sea of Japan (East Sea) from North Korea's Jagang province.

Pyongyang's official media outlet Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported on 12 January that the missile is a hypersonic weapon that has been developed by the country's Academy of Defence Science. The launch event was attended by North Korean supremo Kim Jong-un.

The weapon's hypersonic glide vehicle, which had separated from its missile, made a “gliding re-jump” from 600 km, conducted a “strong turning manoeuvre” of about 240 km off the launch azimuth, and hit a target in the water 1,000 km away, said the KCNA report.

“Through the final test-firing, the excellent manoeuvrability of the hypersonic glide combat unit was more clearly confirmed,” the report added.

This is the third instance of North Korea claiming to have test-launched a hypersonic weapon. On 6 January KCNA reported that the missile Pyongyang fired the day before involved a hypersonic glide vehicle that impacted a designated target located about 700 km away.

In September 2021 KCNA reported that the country had launched a newly developed hypersonic missile known as Hwaseong-8.

In response to the latest launch, the US Indo-Pacific Command said on 11 January that it is consulting with its allies and partners.

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