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North Korea test-fired a novel solid-fuel missile equipped with a hypersonic warhead

North Korea announced the successful testing of a novel solid-fuel missile equipped with a hypersonic warhead, marking a continued effort to enhance its weaponry’s power and stealth capabilities.

The launch occurred on Sunday afternoon, coinciding with Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui’s visit to Moscow.

Amid concerns in the United States and elsewhere about potential weapon sales from Pyongyang to Russia for use in Ukraine, the test aimed to evaluate the reliability of new multi-stage, high-thrust solid-fuel engines and an intermediate-range hypersonic maneuverable controlled warhead, according to the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

Detected by neighboring Japan and South Korea, the missile’s trajectory towards the East Sea covered approximately 1,000km (621 miles).

Seoul’s Joint Chiefs of Staff stated that authorities in Seoul, Washington, DC, and Tokyo were analyzing the specifications, with Japan’s Defence Ministry noting a maximum altitude of at least 50km (30 miles).

KCNA emphasized that the test-firing had no impact on the security of neighboring countries and was unrelated to the regional situation.

North Korea’s previous missile test involved the Hwasong-18 solid-fuel intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) launched into the East Sea on December 18. Earlier tests on November 11 and November 14 focused on new solid-fuel engines for an intermediate ballistic missile.

Notably, Leader Kim Jong Un, referring to Seoul as the “principal enemy,” issued a warning last week about not hesitating to annihilate South Korea. Analysts expressed concerns about the timing of the latest test.

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I am an experienced writer, analyst, and author. My exposure in English journalism spans more than 28 years. In the past, I have been working with daily The Muslim (Lahore Bureau), daily Business Recorder (Lahore/Islamabad Bureaus), Daily Times, Islamabad, daily The Nation (Lahore and Karachi). With daily The Nation, I have served as Resident Editor, Karachi. Since 2009, I have been working as a Freelance Writer/Editor for American organizations.

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