North Korea tests new long-range cruise missile
September 13, 2021 4:24 pm
North Korea has tested a new long-range cruise missile capable of hitting much of Japan, state media said on Monday.
Tests staged over the weekend saw missiles travelling as far as 1,500km (930 miles) away, according to KCNA.
However, they do not violate UN Security Council resolutions – they have led to tough sanctions on North Korea in the past.
But it suggests the country is still capable of developing weapons despite food shortages and an economic crisis.
The test was of “strategic significance” as a deterrence measure to guarantee North Korea’s security and to “strongly contain” hostile forces’ military manoeuvres, KCNA said.
It is the country’s first long-range cruise missile that could possibly carry a nuclear warhead, according to North Korea analyst Ankit Panda.
UN Security Council sanctions forbid North Korea from testing ballistic missiles.
The council considers them to be more threatening than cruise missiles because they can carry bigger and more powerful payloads, have a much longer range, and can fly faster.
A ballistic missile is powered by a rocket and follows an arc-like ballistic trajectory, while a cruise missile is powered by a jet engine and flies at a lower height.
Japan’s chief cabinet secretary Katsunobu Kato said “Japan has significant concerns” and was working with the US and South Korea to monitor the solution.
The US military has reacted too, saying the test showed North Korea’s “continuing focus on developing its military programme and the threats that poses to its neighbours and the international community”.
It added that US commitment to defending allies South Korea and Japan “remains ironclad”.
Top-level officials from the three countries are due to meet this week to discuss North Korea’s denuclearisation process.
South Korea’s military is doing an in-depth analysis of the launches with US intelligence authorities, reported news agency Yonhap.