PYONGYANG: North Korea continues to expand its arsenal with two new long-range cruise missiles tested over the weekend. According to the Korean Central News Agency, the cruise missiles were under development for two last years. In the testing done on Saturday and Sunday, the missiles successfully hit targets 1,500km away and fell into North Korean territorial waters.
North Korea’s last known missile testing was in March when it tested a new tactical short-range ballistic missile. It also conducted a cruise missile test when US President Joe Biden took office in January.
The missiles are said to be strategic which is a commonly used euphemism for a nuclear-capable system. Katsuobu Kato, who is chief cabinet secretary of Japan, said that Tokyo was concerned over the testing as Japan lies within the range of tested missiles. Officials will closely monitor the situation and work closely with the US and South Korea to oversee the situation, he added.
South Korea also lies well within the range of missiles. South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said that they are analyzing the situation in close cooperation with US intelligence, but denied confirming the details. Yonhap news agency reported
United Nations has banned using ballistic missiles but not on cruise missiles that fly on lower altitudes and short distances. KCNA said that the missiles are strategic weapons and are developed over two years as part of a five-year plan to advance science and arsenal.
Detailed tests of missile parts, scores of engine ground thrust tests, various flight tests, control and guidance tests, warhead power tests, etc were conducted with success,” KCNA said.
Kim Jong Un did not appear to have attended the test, with KCNA saying Pak Jong Chon, a member of the Workers’ Party’s powerful politburo and a secretary of its central committee, oversaw it.