North Korea is testing two suspected cruise missiles

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According to Seoul, North Korea only tested a hypersonic missile in mid-January. © KCNA/dpa

North Korea fires missiles again for test purposes. The South Korean military assumes cruise missiles. How far the missiles flew and where they landed is still unclear.

According to the South Korean military, the self-declared nuclear power North Korea has fired at least two suspected cruise missiles.

The rockets were launched tomorrow, the general staff said. It is assumed that guided missiles were tested. The weapon test will be evaluated in more detail together with the USA. How far the missiles flew and where they landed was initially unknown.

Unlike ballistic missiles, cruise missiles are not subject to sanctions against North Korea. UN resolutions ban the country from testing ballistic missiles. As a rule, these are surface-to-surface missiles which, depending on their design, can also carry a nuclear warhead. Unlike ballistic missiles, cruise missiles have their own permanent propulsion system.

North Korea has tested several missiles since the beginning of the year and has therefore drawn new criticism from the United States and its allies South Korea and Japan. According to the company, hypersonic missiles were also used in the tests. With such weapons, a so-called hypersonic glide missile can be launched from a ballistic missile. Hypersonic weapons are difficult to intercept because of their high speed.

After new US sanctions, North Korea recently indicated that it would be able to test nuclear bombs and ICBMs again. At the end of 2019, ruler Kim Jong Un declared that Pyongyang no longer saw itself as being bound by the test moratorium it had imposed itself. The background was the lack of progress in the US negotiations with North Korea over its nuclear weapons program. The US Treasury Department this month sanctioned five North Koreans accused of procuring goods for their country’s mass destruction and missile programs. dpa

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