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North Korea test-fires Hwasal-2 cruise missile

North Korea's Hwasal-2 cruise missile. (Janes)

North Korea has carried out a test-firing of its Hwasal-2 cruise missile.

The test was carried out by a Korean People's Army (KPA) unit and the weapon was fired into the Yellow Sea (West Sea) on 30 January, according to a statement published by Pyongyang's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) the next day.

“The drills validated the [North Korean armed forces'] readiness for rapid counter-attack and enhanced its strategic strike capabilities and did not have any detrimental effect on the security of any neighbouring countries,” the statement added.

Accompanying this statement was a set of four images released by the General Staff Department of the KPA, all of which are labelled ‘strategic cruise missile launch training'.

One of the images show the missile being fired from a road-mobile launcher, while two of the images depict the missile in low-altitude flight with its pop-out wings extended. A fourth image purportedly shows the impact site of the missile as it struck its objective.

South Korea's military disclosed on 30 January that it had detected the launch of several cruise missiles from the country's western coast, but provided scant details on this.

The launch on 30 January is the third time that North Korea had tested a cruise missile within a week. On 25 January Pyongyang announced the test-firing of a missile it calls the ‘Pulhwasal-3-31'.

On 28 January North Korea claimed to have once again fired the same weapon but then referred to it as a “submarine-launched strategic cruise missile”.

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