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North Korea says leader Kim Jong-un oversaw the country’s third hypersonic missile test

North Korean State media has released a photo showing three officials clapping as Kim Jong Un purportedly watches what North Korea says was a successful hypersonic missile launch.

According to North Korea, this was the country’s third hypersonic missile test.

State media said the missile fired on Tuesday, January 11 had successfully made a turn before hitting its target in the sea some 1,000km (621 miles) away.

A hypersonic missile is different from a ballistic missile because it can avoid detection for a longer period of time due to its rather straight projectile angle which is closer to the Earth’s surface.

 

North Korea says leader Kim Jong-un oversaw the country

 

This comes after Kim stated the country’s new year goals, vowing to bolster North Korea’s defence capabilities.

 

The test was condemned by the US  and six other countries who issued a joint statement urging the North to cease its “destabilising actions” in the region.

South Korea’s military initially downplayed the hypersonic missile claims but later said it demonstrated “improvement” from previous tests, said news site Yonhap.

North Korea state outlet KCNA praised the test, saying the “superior manoeuvrability” of the missile had been “strikingly verified through the final test-fire”.

The report claims the glide missile had made a 600 km (375 mile) “glide jump flight,” followed by 240 km of “corkscrew manoeuvring” before hitting its target.

North Korea’s first reported hypersonic missile test was in September 2021.

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