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North Korea Appears To Have Conducted Its Second Missile Test This Year


Yonhap cites South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff as noting that North Korea fired an unidentified projectile into the East Sea. Separately, the Japan Coast Guard says that the object may have been a ballistic missile and has already landed.

  • Note that just a few hours ago Western members of the UN Security Council (U.S., UK, France, Ireland and Albania) together with Japan issued a statement condemning North Korea's previous missile test conducted on January 5. They warned that Pyongyang's actions "increase the risk of miscalculation and escalation."
  • North Korea said last Wednesday that it successfully test-launched a hypersonic missile, which conducted a sideways manoeuvre over 120km and hit a target 700km away. It was Pyongyang's second test of a hypersonic missile in about four months.
  • South Korea's Defence Ministry cast doubt on the official figures, noting that the missile reached an altitude of 50km and travelled a shorter distance. It also played down the odds that North Korea has developed technology necessary to construct a hypersonic glide vehicle.
  • Pyongyang first announced that it had tested a new hypersonic missile system Hwasong-8 in September. Hypersonic glide vehicles (HGVs) are highly sophisticated weapons, whose trajectory and manoeuvrability highly increase their ability to evade anti-missile systems. Only a handful of countries have conducted advanced tests of such missiles, with the U.S., Russia and China spearheading investigations of the technology.

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