News ID: 316279
Published: 0315 GMT September 13, 2021

North Korea says it tested new long-range cruise missiles

North Korea says it tested new long-range cruise missiles
AP

North Korea said it successfully test fired newly developed long-range cruise missiles over the weekend, its first known testing activity in months, underscoring how it continues to expand its military capabilities amid a stalemate in nuclear negotiations with the United States.

The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said Monday the cruise missiles, which had been under development for two years, demonstrated an ability to hit targets 1,500 kilometers (932 miles) away during flight tests on Saturday and Sunday.

The North hailed its new missiles as a “strategic weapon of great significance” that meets leader Kim Jong-un’s call to strengthen the country’s military might, AP reported.

North Korean state media published photos of a projectile being fired from a launcher truck and an apparent missile with wings and tail fins traveling in the air.

KCNA said the missiles tested over the weekend traveled for 126 minutes “along an oval and pattern-8 flight orbits” above North Korean land and waters before hitting their targets.

“The test launches showed that the technical indices such as the thrust power of the newly developed turbine-blast engine, the missiles’ navigation control and the end guided hit accuracy by the combined guided mode met the requirements of designs. In all, the efficiency and practicality of the weapon system operation was confirmed to be excellent,” it said.

The United States military said the North’s missile tests posed 'threats' to the country's neighbors and beyond.

"This activity highlights DPRK's continuing focus on developing its military program and the threats that poses to its neighbors and the international community," the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command said in a statement, using the North's official name, AFP wrote.

During a congress of the ruling Workers’ Party in January, Kim doubled down on his pledge to bolster his nuclear deterrent in the face of U.S. sanctions and pressure. He issued a long wish list of new sophisticated assets, including longer-range intercontinental ballistic missiles, nuclear-powered submarines, spy satellites and tactical nuclear weapons. Kim also said then that his national defense scientists were developing “intermediate-range cruise missiles with the most powerful warheads in the world”.

Talks between the United States and North Korea have stalled since the collapse of a summit between former U.S. president Donald Trump and Kim in 2019, when the Americans rejected the North’s demand for major sanctions relief in exchange for a partial surrender of its nuclear capabilities. Kim’s government has so far rejected the Biden administration’s overtures for dialogue, demanding that Washington abandon its “hostile” policies first.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the military was analyzing the North Korean launches based on U.S. and South Korean intelligence. The U.S. Indo-Pacific Command said it was monitoring the situation with allies and that the North Korean activity reflects a continuing focus on “developing its military program and the threats that poses to its neighbors and the international community.” Japan said it was “extremely concerned”.

 

 

 

 

 

   
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