North Korea tests new long-range cruise missile

North Korea tests new long-range cruise missile

North Korea has conducted a test of a new long-range cruise missile capable of striking much of Japan, according to state media on Monday.

According to KCNA, missiles flew as far as 1,500 kilometers (930 miles) during weekend tests.

They do not, however, violate UN Security Council resolutions; in the past, they have resulted in harsh sanctions against North Korea.

Despite food shortages and an economic crisis, it suggests that the country is still capable of developing weapons.

According to KCNA, the test was of “strategic significance” as a deterrence measure to ensure North Korea’s security and to “strongly contain” hostile forces’ military maneuvers.

According to North Korea analyst Ankit Panda, it is the country’s first long-range cruise missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.

Sanctions imposed by the United Nations Security Council prohibit North Korea from conducting ballistic missile tests.

They are considered more dangerous than cruise missiles by the council because they can carry larger and more powerful payloads, have a much longer range, and can fly faster.

A ballistic missile is propelled by a rocket and travels in an arc-like trajectory, whereas a cruise missile is propelled by a jet engine and travels at a lower altitude.

Japan’s chief cabinet secretary, Katsunobu Kato, stated that “Japan has significant concerns” and that the country is working with the United States and South Korea to monitor the solution.

The US military has also reacted, stating that the test demonstrated North Korea’s “continuing focus on developing its military programme and the threats that poses to its neighbours and the international community”

It also stated that the United States’ commitment to defending allies South Korea and Japan “remains ironclad”

This week, top officials from the three countries will meet to discuss North Korea’s denuclearization process.

According to the news agency Yonhap, South Korea’s military is conducting an in-depth analysis of the launches in collaboration with US intelligence authorities.

So, what’s the big deal here?

Both yes and no.

Some may dismiss this missile test because it was a cruise missile. This type of missile is exempt from UN Security Council sanctions imposed to halt North Korea’s nuclear program.

Some may see this as Pyongyang’s low-level provocation, perhaps testing the waters to see how they react. It didn’t make the top headlines in South Korea, and it didn’t even make the front page of North Korea’s state newspaper.

So, what’s the big deal?

The issue is that North Korea is demonstrating once again that it is capable of developing new and dangerous weapons despite being subject to strict international sanctions.

These cruise missiles fly low and are difficult to detect, and with a range of 1,500km, they could reach much of Japan.

State media also refers to these missiles as “strategic” implying that the regime intends to equip them with a nuclear warhead.

Analysts are unsure whether North Korea can miniaturize a nuclear warhead small enough to fit on a cruise missile. However, given how far the secretive state has come, no one would bet against it.

Pyongyang may have been quiet since Donald Trump and Kim Jong-talks un’s in Hanoi in 2019.

But that doesn’t mean their weapon designers haven’t been hard at work.

The latest launch came just days after Pyongyang held a scaled-down military parade to commemorate the communist state’s 75th anniversary of founding.

It did not show any major ballistic missiles, but it did show workers in hazmat suits, which could indicate that a special force was formed to help prevent the spread of Covid-19.

The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that as of August 19, North Korea had recorded no cases of Covid-19, though critics argue that this is unlikely.

To stop the spread of the virus, the country closed its borders in January 2020, causing trade with its most important economic ally, China, to plummet.

Since then, North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, has acknowledged that the country is experiencing food shortages, despite reports from aid organizations of a struggling economy and people starving to death.

However, Pyongyang’s nuclear plans have not been thwarted.

The United Nations Atomic Energy Agency said last month that the country appeared to have restarted a reactor capable of producing plutonium for nuclear weapons, calling the development “deeply troubling”

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North Korea tests new long-range cruise missile