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North Korea says it test-fired new solid-fuel hypersonic missile

North Korea successfully test-fired a new mid- to long-range solid-fuel, hypersonic missile, state media KCNA said on Wednesday.
North Korea fired a suspected intermediate-range ballistic missile into the sea on Tuesday in a possible test, drawing swift condemnation from South Korea, Japan and the United States.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un oversaw the launch, KCNA said, lauding it as a strategic weapon that shows the “absolute superiority” of North Korea’s defence technology.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un attends a missile launch at an unknown location in North Korea on Tuesday. Photo: KCNA via Reuters

With this, North Korea has “fully turned all tactical, operational, and strategic-grade missiles of different ranges into solid-fuel, with warhead control, and capable of nuclearisation”, Kim said, according to KCNA.

Hypersonic missiles are more difficult to intercept, while missiles with solid fuel can be moved and stored more easily, meaning they can be ready to launch at short notice.

Tuesday’s test followed a ground test in late March of a solid-fuel engine for a new type of intermediate-range hypersonic missile.

North Korea fires off ballistic missiles as top US official Blinken visits Seoul

Britain also condemned North Korea’s latest ballistic missile launch on Tuesday, saying it breached multiple UN Security Council resolutions.

Meanwhile, a North Korean diplomatic delegation that visited China, Vietnam and Laos, as well as an economic delegation to Russia, have all returned home on Tuesday, KCNA said.

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