North Korea Says It Test-Fired New Solid-Fuel Hypersonic Missile

A missile is launched, as the state media reports North Korea test-fired a new mid- to long-range solid-fuel hypersonic missile, at an unknown location in North Korea, April 2, 2024, in this picture released on April 3, 2024, by the Korean Central News Agency.

SEOUL (Reuters) – 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 demonstrates the “absolute superiority” of North Korea’s defense technology.

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.

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.