North Korea says it tested new solid-fuel intermediate-range missile with hypersonic warhead

Voice of America News reports: “North Korea said Wednesday it tested another new hypersonic intermediate-range missile powered with solid propellants as it continues to expand its nuclear and missile program in the face of deepening tensions with neighbors and the United States.

The report by North Korean state media came a day after the South Korean and Japanese militaries detected the North launching the missile from an inland area around its capital toward its eastern sea.

North Korean state media said the test was supervised by leader Kim Jong Un, who described the missile – named Hwasong-16B – as a key piece of his nuclear war deterrent, which he vowed to further build up to counter his ‘enemies,’ a reference to the United States, South Korea and Japan.

Kim said the North has now developed nuclear-capable, solid-fuel systems for ‘all the tactical, operational and strategic missiles with various ranges,’ the Korean Central News Agency said.

In recent years, North Korea has been focusing on developing more weapons with built-in solid propellants. Those weapons are easier to move and hide and can be launched quicker than liquid-propellant missiles, which need to be fueled before launch and cannot stay fueled for long periods of time.

Since 2021, the North has been testing hypersonic weapons designed to exceed five times the speed of sound. If perfected, such systems could potentially pose a challenge to regional missile defense systems because of their speed and maneuverability…”

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