SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un oversaw the third test of his country's most advanced missile designed to strike the mainland United States, pushing back against escalating military threats led by the United States. Threatened "further aggressive action". State media gave this information on Tuesday.
Kim's statement shows he is confident in his growing missile arsenal and the United States is likely to continue weapons testing activities ahead of next year's presidential election. But many observers say North Korea still needs to conduct more significant tests to prove it has working missiles aimed at the US mainland.
after seeing launch on monday Regarding the Hwasong-18 intercontinental ballistic missile, Kim said the test shows how North Korea could respond if the United States "takes the wrong decision against it," according to the official Korean Central News Agency.
Kim stressed the need to "never ignore all reckless and irresponsible military threats of enemies and resolutely counter them with more aggressive actions," KCNA said.
The Hwasong-18 ICBM is a developmental, solid-fuel ICBM considered North Korea's most powerful weapon. Its built-in solid propellant makes launch difficult for extraterrestrials compared to liquid-fueled missiles, which must be refueled before take-off. But many foreign experts say North Korea still faces other technical hurdles to achieving a reliable nuclear-tipped ICBM, such as protecting the weapons from the harsh conditions of atmospheric reentry.
KCNA said the Hwasong-18 missile, launched at a high angle to avoid neighboring countries, flew 1,002 kilometers (622 miles) for 73.5 minutes at a maximum altitude of 6,518 kilometers (4,050 miles) before landing in an area to the north. Distance covered. East coast. It said Kim expressed "great satisfaction" at the launch, which re-verified the reliability of North Korea's "most powerful strategic core striking means".
"Based on their statements, this appears to be an exercise in signaling and a developmental test," said Ankit Panda, an expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. "As far as I can tell at this early stage, there is nothing technically new here, but they are certainly gaining confidence in their new solid propellant ICBM."
Professor Leif-Eric Easley of Ewha University in Seoul said the North's latest ICBM test is another indicator of how far its missile engine technology has advanced, but he asked what North Korea could learn from high-trajectory firings. Yes, it has its limits.
"Demonstrating warship targeting and re-entry capabilities will include provocative launches at greater ranges," Easley said. “So the new year is likely to pose an even greater test of both technology and diplomacy.”
KCNA said its Hwasong-18 test was meant to issue a warning to North Korea over confrontational military moves by its rivals. It said the recent US-South Korean meeting to discuss nuclear deterrence planning openly revealed their intention to conduct joint exercises with a simulated nuclear attack on North Korea.
It also mentioned the second Nuclear Consultative Group meeting between senior US and South Korean officials last Friday. During their meeting in Washington, the two countries agreed to update their nuclear deterrence and contingency strategies and to incorporate nuclear operations scenarios into their joint military exercises next summer, according to officials in Seoul.
The advisory body is responsible for sharing information on nuclear and strategic weapons operational plans and joint operations, although the US will retain operational control of its nuclear weapons. The group's establishment was part of U.S. efforts to ease South Korean concerns about North Korean provocations while deterring Seoul from pursuing its nuclear program.
Since last year, North Korea has conducted more than 100 ballistic missile tests in what outside experts say is an effort to upgrade its nuclear arsenal and win more US concessions. In response, the United States and South Korea have expanded their military training and increased the temporary deployment of powerful US military assets in South Korea.
on Tuesday, South Korea, America and Japan South Korea has begun sharing real-time missile warning data on North Korea and established details of their trilateral exercises in the coming years, South Korea's Defense Ministry said in a statement. It said the three countries will enhance their tri-way cooperation to address regional challenges and promote peace in the region.
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