Images from the daily Rodong Sinmun showed the moment when a missile exited one of the five tubes in a launch vehicle in the middle of a fireball, as well as a missile in horizontal flight. Analysts pointed out that this weapon represents an important advance in North Korean war technology, which increases its ability to avoid the defense systems of possible enemies.
The missiles flew 7,580 seconds over North Korea and its territorial waters, hitting targets 1,500 kilometers away, KCNA added.
Pyongyang’s communist regime agency called the missile a “strategic weapon of great significance” and added that “the efficiency and functionality of the weapons system confirmed to be excellent.” He further said that the development of the missile system gives North Korea “another means of deterrence” to protect itself and “strongly contain military maneuvers by hostile forces.”
In this regard, the United States Army commented that the launches pose “threats to North Korea’s neighbors and other nations,” the AFP news agency reported.
“This activity shows that the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) continues to develop its military program, which poses threats to its neighbors and the international community,” the US Indo-Pacific Command said in a statement.
South Korean experts noted that the weapon resembles the Tomahawk long-range cruise missiles from the United States and the Hyunmoo-3C from South Korea itself. Ballistic missiles have a much wider range and move faster than cruise missiles of the same size, but these are still threatening because they can carry nuclear warheads and fly relatively straight and low, making them more difficult to detect.
The isolated Asian country faces numerous international sanctions for its nuclear and ballistic programs, which it continues to develop. It also maintains the production of cruise missiles, which it has already tested on previous occasions.
The South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff said they are conducting “a detailed analysis of the evidence in close cooperation with the South Korean and US intelligence agencies.” Meanwhile, the Japanese government expressed concern and indicated that a missile of this range “poses a threat to the peace and security of Japan and the region.”
The launches came shortly after a low-key parade in Pyongyang to mark the 73rd anniversary of the country’s founding.
Pyongyang had not conducted a nuclear test or ICBM launch since 2017.
Its nuclear talks with the United States have been stalled since 2019, and the impoverished country showed no willingness to abandon its atomic arsenal, rather reneging on South Korea’s efforts to restart the dialogue.