The North Korean missile test reported yesterday by South Korea and the US was a pilot launch of a new hypersonic missile. That is what the North Korean state news agency KCNA reports, which speaks of a successful test.
Hypersonic missiles generally mean that the projectiles reach more than five times the speed of the sound, representing 6200 kilometers per hour. Unlike the ballistic variants, the hypersonic missiles dont go through space, but go at a lower altitude at their target. The high speed makes it harder for opponents to intercept the missile.
China, Russia and the United States are also working on the development of hypersonic missiles. On Monday, the US announced that such a missile was tested. Russia reported a successful test with a hypersonic missile in July.
Neighbouring Countries Endangered
According to North Korea, yesterdays test with the Hwasong-8 system went well. “In the first test launch, the national defence specialists confirmed the missiles manageability and stability,” says the KCNA message.
However, a South Korean missile expert thinks that the North Korean test failed, as the measured speed did not exceed 2.5 times the speed of sound. According to him, the missile could pose a threat to neighbouring countries South Korea and Japan.
Following the failed peace negotiations with previous US President Trump, North Korea has increased the number of missile tests. There have also been multiple trial launches over the past few weeks.