North Korea confirms successful test of new intercontinental ballistic missile

North Korea announced that it successfully test-fired a new intercontinental ballistic missile Hwasong-17 from Pyongyang airport, under the supervision of Chairman Kim Jong-un.

Hwangsong-17 rocket fired from a mobile launcher on March 24. Photo: Rodong Sinmun.

“The test-firing of a new type of intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) Hwasong-17 of the North Korean strategic force was conducted on March 24 under the direct direction of Chairman Kim Jong-un,” the Korean Central News Agency said. North Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported today.

Hwasong-17 is a very large ICBM that was first launched in October 2020 and is known by analysts as a “monster missile”. Hwasong-17 has never been successfully tested before.

“The missile, launched at Pyongyang International Airport, flew to a maximum altitude of 6,248.5 km and flew a distance of 1,090 km in 4,052 seconds before accurately hitting the designated area” in the Sea of Japan, KCNA said.

This is likely to be North Korea’s largest ICBM test to date and the first time Pyongyang has test-fired an intercontinental ballistic missile since 2017

According to KCNA, Kim Jong-un said the new weapon would “reliably fulfill its mission of becoming a powerful nuclear war deterrent”. He “proudly remarked that the appearance of a new strategic weapon of the DPRK will make the whole world once again clearly realize the power of our strategic armed forces”, KCNA reported.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said yesterday that the North Korean missile reached a maximum altitude of 6,200 km and a range of 1,080 km, while Japanese officials said the projectile reached a maximum altitude of 6,000 km and flew far. 1,100 km and fell into the sea after a 71-minute journey.

These parameters are all superior to the Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) tested by North Korea in 2017, making it the model with the highest range of Pyongyang’s missile ever. During the test five years ago, the Hwasong-15 missile reached an altitude of 4,500 km and a range of 998 km.

South Korea’s deputy national security adviser, Suh Choo-suk, called the move “a clear violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions and goes against its pledge to suspend ICBM tests launched by North Korea.” out to the international community”.

Military analysts say that the Hwasong-17 is significantly larger in size than the Hwasong-15. It has a diameter of about 2.5 m, an estimated mass of 80-110 tons and is mounted on an 11-axle ammunition truck, making the Hwasong-17 the largest mobile land-based ICBM in the world.

North Korea has not conducted a nuclear test or ICBM since leader Kim Jong-un ordered it to be suspended in 2018. Pyongyang hinted in January that it was considering “restarting the temporary suspension of activities.” only” to deal with the US due to its hostile policy and military threat from Washington.

Yesterday’s launch was North Korea’s 13th weapons test since the beginning of the year, including two that the country described as testing “reconnaissance satellites”. This is an unprecedented frequency of weapons testing, causing constant protests from the US, South Korea and Japan. Seoul, Tokyo and Washington condemned the Hwasong-17 missile test, saying it would increase tensions on the peninsula.

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