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S. Korea Suspects N. Korea Conducted Hypersonic Ballistic Missile Test

Written: 2024-04-02 15:01:13Updated: 2024-04-02 19:08:54

S. Korea Suspects N. Korea Conducted Hypersonic Ballistic Missile Test

Photo : YONHAP News

Anchor: North Korea has fired what appears to be an intermediate-range ballistic missile(IRBM) into the East Sea. This is the third time this year the North has launched ballistic missiles. Military analysts believe the North tested a hypersonic ballistic missile.
Kim Bum-soo has more. 

Report: The South Korean military detected what is presumed to be an intermediate-range ballistic missile launched from a location near the North Korean capital of Pyongyang at 6:53 a.m. Tuesday. 

[Sound bite: S. Korean JCS spokesperson Col. Lee Sung-joon (Korean-English)]
"The North Korean missile fell into the East Sea after flying over 600 kilometers. Our military has immediately detected the launch and tracked and monitored the projectile while closely sharing related information with the U.S. and Japan. We are currently analyzing details of the launch." 

According to the Joint Chiefs of Staff(JCS), the projectile flew 600 kilometers in the direction of an uninhabited island off the North’s eastern coast, before falling into the East Sea.

The South Korean military believes that the North could have tested a hypersonic ballistic missile, given the speed of the projectile, which flew for around ten minutes.   

Hypersonic weapons, referring to glide vehicles deployed by ballistic or cruise missiles designed to fly at speeds of at least Mach five, are more problematic for missile defense systems to intercept.  

Pyongyang launched in January what it called a solid-fuel intermediate-range ballistic missile with a hypersonic delivery system. Military officials suspect the North this time tested the performance of its warhead delivery system following a solid-fuel engine test last month.

The latest launch comes 15 days after North Korean leader Kim Jong-un supervised a live-fire drill of the so-called super-large multiple rocket launchers.  

South Korea’s military has beefed up surveillance and is maintaining a full readiness posture while closely sharing information regarding the North’s ballistic missile with the United States and Japan.

During a Cabinet meeting Tuesday, President Yoon Suk Yeol said that North Korea is attempting to disturb South Korea ahead of the elections this month, adding that such provocations will only unite the Korean public. 
Kim Bum-soo, KBS World Radio News.

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