North Korea 'Successfully' Tests New Long-Range Cruise Missile, State Media Reveals
21:10 GMT 12.09.2021 (Updated: 13:36 GMT 18.09.2023)
The test-firing occurred on Saturday and Sunday and followed two years of research, according to Yonhap, citing the Korean Central News Agency.
North Korea successfully conducted a test-fire of a new type of a long-range cruise missile over the weekend, Yonhap reported Sunday, citing KCNA.
"The development of the long-range cruise missile, a strategic weapon of great significance [...] has been pushed forward according to the scientific and reliable weapon system development process for the past two years," KCNA said.
According to the report, the test included checking engine ground thrust, "various flight tests", control and guidance tests, along with an evaluation of warhead power.
A readout of the event indicates that the cruise missile reportedly flew some 1,500 kilometers before striking its intended target. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is not believed to have been in attendance during the test.
Following the test-fire, the US Indo-Pacific Command (USINDOPACOM) issued a statement revealing that it is aware of the cruise missile launches and saying that consultations with allies are ongoing in regard to the matter.
"This activity highlights DPRK's continuing focus on developing its military program and the threats that poses to its neighbours and the international community", USINDOPACOM stated. "The US commitment to the defense of the Republic of Korea and Japan remains ironclad."
The missile test-fire followed a military parade held in North Korea earlier in the week in celebration of the 73rd anniversary of the country's foundation, featuring mechanised paramilitary units, rocket launchers and anti-tank weapons. According to KCNA, no nuclear weapons or ballistic missiles were demonstrated at the parade.
The latest development comes nearly a month after a leaked United Nations report detailed that North Korea intended to spend the first six months of 2021 developing its nuclear and ballistic missile program.
Citing the UN documents, Reuters reported that North Korean officials were looking to obtain "material and technology for these programmes overseas," regardless of the country's "worsening economic travails."
Prior to the weekend launch, North Korea's most recent missile test was in late March, as part of what many saw as Pyongyang acting out over a US decision to move forward with military exercises alongside South Korean officials, the first launched under the Biden administration.