North Korea Launch New ‘Hypersonic’ Missile In US Standoff

( – In 2021, North Korea reportedly tested its first hypersonic missile, starting its venture into developing an arsenal capable of reaching other countries. One year later, it launched again. Analysts labeled that technology a ballistic missile, but the weapon was still powerful and maneuverable. In 2023, the country claimed to flight-test an intercontinental ballistic missile and has recently made more concerning weapons assertions.

On April 3, pictures of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un dressed in black and smoking a cigarette as he reportedly watched a new intermediate-range solid-fueled ballistic missile loaded with newly-developed hypersonic gliding warhead fire surfaced.

Following the test, the state media said the Hwasong-16B missile was a key piece in Kim’s nuclear deterrent arsenal and the leader promised to expand his nuclear arsenal to “constantly strike extreme uneasiness and horror” in his enemies.

While there are doubts that North Korea has developed true hypersonic weapons, the country has been working to build missiles with built-in solid propellants. Those weapons are concerning because it’s easier to move and hide them, as opposed to missiles with liquid propellants. Another point of concern lies in the country’s recent nuclear strike drill simulations.

However, South Korea’s joint chiefs of staff stated that Kim is greatly exaggerating the missile’s distance capabilities. While KCNA, the North Korean state-run media, said the weapon reached 62 miles in the air and flew over 600 miles before separating from its launch rocket, South Korean experts put the flight at just over 370 miles. Still, the South admitted the North’s capabilities were improving.

More advanced nations like the United States, Russia, and China haven’t even finished developing hypersonic weapons. The joint chiefs told reporters that the advancement ” requires [d] highly difficult technologies.” Nations around the world are watching North Korea closely because if the country does develop hypersonic technology, it could target regions as far as the United States.