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Suspected North Korean hypersonic missile test fails – Seoul

The South Korean military has said the DPRK launched a rocket on Wednesday, which apparently exploded in mid-air

North Korea is believed to have test-fired a hypersonic missile on Wednesday but the launch apparently ended in failure, the South Korean military has claimed. The projectile traveled around 250km before exploding in mid-air.

Hypersonic weapons, which can travel at up to 25 times the speed of sound, are believed to be practically impossible for modern-day air defenses to intercept. The US, Russia, China, and India currently have hypersonic rockets in their arsenals. Several other nations are either developing the weapons or claim to have tested them.

Yonhap News Agency quoted South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff as saying the missile was launched from the Pyongyang area around 5:30am local time. South Korean and US intelligence services are analyzing the nature of the missile, but an anonymous military source told Yonhap that the rocket fired by the North appears to have been hypersonic.

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The apparent launch came shortly after the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea vowed to take “overwhelming and new” deterrence measures in response to the arrival of US aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt in South Korea on Saturday. The warship is set to take part in trilateral military drills, which also involve Japan.

Pyongyang has repeatedly described similar maneuvers in the region as being a threat to its national security.

Late last month, North Korea launched several short-range ballistic missiles in response to drills between the US and South Korea.

In April, the DPRK conducted what it described as a simulated nuclear counterattack against an adversary.

Earlier that month, Pyongyang fired a new intermediate-range ballistic missile that reportedly had a hypersonic warhead.

June 26, 2024 at 02:14PM

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