North Korea announced Wednesday that it has test-fired a newly developed hypersonic missile, confirming Tuesday’s launch of what the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff called an unidentified projectile into the East Sea.
According to the Korean Central News Agency(KCNA), the new hypersonic missile called the Hwasong-8 was launched from Toyang-ri, Ryongrim County in Jagang Province on Tuesday morning by the Academy of Defence Science.
Stressing that it was the first test-launch, the KCNA said it confirmed flight controllability and the safety of the missile, as well as the stability of the engine and missile fuel ampoule.
Calling the project one of five top priorities in a five-year plan for the development of defense science and weaponry, the KCNA said it had great strategic significance in enhancing the North’s defense-related science and technology and strengthened its self-defense.
The KCNA report confirmed that the missile was a hypersonic weapon that the North had pledged to develop and test early this year at the Eighth Congress of the Workers’ Party in January.
The KCNA said that the latest missile launch was overseen by Pak Jong-chon, member of the Presidium of the Politburo of the Workers' Party. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un did not attend.