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North Korea Tests New Hypersonic Missile, Drawing International Condemnation

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North Korea made headlines with its successful test-firing of a new mid- to long-range solid-fuel, hypersonic missile, announced by state media KCNA on Wednesday. This move drew immediate criticism and condemnation from neighboring countries like South Korea and Japan, as well as from the United States and Britain, citing violations of multiple UN Security Council resolutions. The involvement of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in overseeing the launch was highlighted by KCNA, praising the missile as a strategic weapon showcasing the country's "absolute superiority" in defense technology.

According to the KCNA report, Kim Jong Un expressed satisfaction with the successful launch, emphasizing that North Korea has fully transitioned all its missiles of varying ranges to solid-fuel with warhead control, capable of nuclearization. The significance of this development lies in the increased difficulty to intercept hypersonic missiles, as well as the practical advantages of solid-fuel technology, enabling quicker deployment and easier storage for immediate launch readiness. The test on Tuesday represented another milestone for North Korea following a ground test conducted in late March on a solid-fuel engine for an intermediate-range hypersonic missile.

Amidst these military advancements, North Korea also reported on the return of diplomatic delegations from visits to China, Vietnam, Laos, and an economic delegation to Russia. The flurry of diplomatic activities occurring alongside the missile tests highlights North Korea's multifaceted approach to foreign relations, further underlining the complexity of the geopolitical dynamics surrounding the reclusive nation.

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May 21, 2023 | 05:09