North Korea has successfully tested a new long-range cruise missile over the weekend, North Korean state media reported Monday, in what analysts say could be the first nuclear-capable weapon. from the country. The projectiles flew 1,500 kilometers before reaching their targets and falling into the country’s territorial waters during the tests that, according to the North Korean official agency, KCNA, were carried out on Saturday and Sunday.
The alleged success of this type of trial of “a weapon of great strategic importance,” according to the KCNA, highlights the steady progress in Pyongyang’s arms race, as talks aimed at dismantling Pyongyang’s weapons program in exchange for a relief from US sanctions have been stalled since 2019.
North Korea’s cruise missiles tend to be of less concern than ballistic missiles because they are not explicitly prohibited by United Nations Security Council resolutions. However, “this could be North Korea’s first cruise missile explicitly designated as ‘strategic’,” said Ankit Panda, principal investigator at the US-based Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
It is not clear whether North Korea already has the technology to build nuclear warheads small enough to be carried on a cruise missile, but its leader, Kim Jong-un, declared earlier this year that weapons development Smaller such is a priority goal for your country.
The two Koreas have been locked in an accelerating arms race that analysts warn could lead to a competition in the region for powerful new missiles. South Korea’s military has not confirmed that it detected these latest evidence from its northern neighbor. This Monday, the authorities of that country did claim to be carrying out a detailed analysis of this issue in cooperation with the United States, an extreme confirmed by the Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM) of the US Army.
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