Monday, October 18, 2021

North Korea joins race for new hypersonic missile with latest test

Seoul: North Korea this week tested a newly developed hypersonic missile, state news media KCNA reported on Wednesday, joining a race led by major military powers to deploy the advanced weapons system.

North Korea fired missiles toward the sea from its east coast on Tuesday, South Korea’s military said, as Pyongyang asked the United States and South Korea to resume diplomatic talks with its “double standards” on weapons programs. Called to end.

North Korea continues to develop its weapons systems amid deadlock over talks aimed at dismantling its nuclear and ballistic missile arsenals in return for US sanctions relief.

US special envoy for North Korea Sung Kim said the latest launch was “destabilizing” and posed a regional threat, but Washington would continue diplomatic efforts to denuclearize the Korean peninsula.

“We are waiting to hear back from Pyongyang. We have created multiple perspectives … and proposed dialogues on a wide range of topics,” he told a virtual forum in Jakarta where he serves as the US ambassador to Indonesia.

US Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security Bonnie Jenkins told Reuters in response to a question at the Geneva Center for Security Policy that Washington was seeking more information on the latest tests.

“The US is still promoting a diplomatic solution. We still want an open door for diplomacy with North Korea. So we’re hoping that apart from the tests, they’ll also say ‘let’s have some conversations again’,” she said.

Unlike ballistic missiles, which fly into outer space before returning to a vertical trajectory, hypersonic weapons fly toward targets at low altitudes and can achieve speeds of more than five times the speed of sound, or about 3,850 mph.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the North’s hypersonic missile was in an early stage of development, judging by the detected velocity and other data, and would take “a considerable amount of time” until it could be deployed.

Development of the weapon system increased North Korea’s defense capabilities, with the KCNA describing the hypersonic missile as a “strategic weapon”.

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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un did not oversee the launch, according to the report.

“In the first test-launch, national defense scientists confirmed the missile’s navigational control and stability,” the report said.

It said the missile, named Hwasong-8, demonstrated its technical goals “including the guiding maneuverability and gliding flight characteristics of a detached hypersonic gliding warhead”.

next generation of weapons

Hypersonic weapons are considered next-generation weapons that aim to rob opponents of reaction times and conventional defeat mechanisms.

The test could mean that the North is now entering a fast race to deploy the weapon, involving the United States, Russia and China.

The United States on Monday said it has tested an air-breathing hypersonic weapon, the first successful test of the weapon’s class since 2013.

In July, Russia successfully tested a Tsirkon (Zircon) hypersonic cruise missile, a weapon President Vladimir Putin said as part of a new generation of unguided missile systems in the world.

Korea Aerospace University missile expert Chang Young-kyun said North’s test of a hypersonic gliding vehicle (HGV) may have failed, as the flight was clocked at Mach 2.5, citing a report assessment by South Korean military intelligence. Happened.

“The North’s HGV technology is not comparable to the US, Russia or China and it now appears to be short-range targets targeting South Korea or Japan,” Chang said.

North Korea said last week that it was ready to consider another summit with the South, following a call by South Korean President Moon Jae-in to formally declare an end to the 1950-1953 Korean War. That is, if mutual respect between neighbors can be assured.

The denuclearization talks that began in 2018 between former US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim have been stalled since 2019.

The two Koreas tested ballistic missiles on 15 September, part of an arms race in which the two countries have developed increasingly sophisticated weapons, while efforts to negotiate a de-escalation of tensions prove fruitless.

by Sangmi Chao

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This News Originally From – The Epoch Times

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