North Korea has conducted a test of a new long-range cruise missile capable of striking much of Japan, according to official media.
According to the official KCNA news agency, missiles flew up to 1,500 kilometers (930 miles) during the weekend testing.
It shows that, despite food shortages and an economic crisis, North Korea is still capable of producing weapons.
The newest tests, according to the US military, presented a threat to the world community, and Japan expressed “serious worry.”
A photograph published in the North Korean Rodong Sinmun newspaper shows a missile being launched from a launch truck and another flying horizontally.
According to the KCNA news agency, the missiles are “a strategic weapon of tremendous significance.”
The tests were conducted on Saturday and Sunday, with the missiles reaching their objectives before landing into North Korean territorial seas, according to the report.
According to North Korean expert Ankit Panda, it is the country’s first long-range cruise missile capable of carrying a nuclear payload.
North Korea is prohibited from launching ballistic missiles, but not cruise missiles like this, according to UN Security Council sanctions.
Ballistic missiles, according to the council, are more dangerous than cruise missiles because they may carry larger and more potent payloads, have a considerably greater range, and fly quicker.
A ballistic missile is propelled by a rocket and travels in an arc, whereas a cruise missile travels at a lower altitude and is propelled by a jet engine.
A Deeper Analysis
Is this a major issue? Both yes and no.
Because it was a cruise missile, some people may dismiss this missile test. This sort of missile is exempt from UN Security Council restrictions aimed at halting North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.
Some may interpret this as Pyongyang’s low-level provocation, testing the waters to see what reaction it may elicit. It didn’t make the front page of South Korea’s newspaper, and it didn’t make the front page of North Korea’s state publication.
The issue is that, despite being subject to tight international sanctions, North Korea is once again demonstrating its ability to build new and lethal weapons.
These cruise missiles are low-flying and difficult to detect, and their 1,500-kilometer range puts much of Japan within range.
These missiles are also referred to as “strategic” by state media, implying that the dictatorship intends to equip them with a nuclear warhead.
Analysts are divided on whether North Korea can miniaturize a nuclear warhead small enough to put on a cruise missile. However, considering the clandestine state’s previous achievements, no one would bet against it.
Pyongyang has been silent since former US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un failed to reach an agreement in Hanoi in 2019.
That isn’t to say their weapon designers haven’t been active.