North Korea Fires New Hypersonic Missile; 3rd Launch in a Month Defying US

North Korea has said it successfully tested a new hypersonic missile called Hwasong-8 on Tuesday.

North Korea's state-run channel KCNA stated that the launch took place in Jagang province.

Tuesday's launch was of "great strategic significance", KCNA said, as the North seeks to increase its defense capabilities a "thousand-fold".

Latest in a Series of New Weapons Tested by the Reclusive State

The test launch confirmed the "navigational control and stability of the missile", KCNA said adding that the missile performed to its technical targets "including the guiding maneuverability and the gliding flight characteristics of the detached hypersonic gliding warhead."

North Korea test-fires newly developed hypersonic missile
North Korea test-fires newly developed hypersonic missile Hwasong-8 Reuters

"The development of the hypersonic missile, one of 5 top-priority tasks of the five-year plan facing the field of strategic weapon for the development of defense science and weapon system set forth at the 8th Congress of the Party, has been pushed forward according to a sequential, scientific and reliable development process," reported KCNA.

It is unclear whether Kim Jong-Un witnessed the launch.

Pak Jong Chon, member of the Presidium of the Political Bureau and secretary of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea, watched the test-launch with leading officials in the sector of national defense science.

He mentioned the strategic importance of the development of the hypersonic missile and its deployment for action. He also noted the military significance of turning all missile fuel systems into ampoules.

The latest launch also marked the country's third missile test this month. It has already revealed a new type of cruise missile, as a well as a new train-launched ballistic missile system.

North Korea Fired 'Projectile'

North Korea had fired a projectile on Tuesday into the sea off the east coast. The state media said the new missile increased the country's "defense capabilities".

The test happened as North Korea's ambassador said at the UN that no-one could deny Pyongyang's right to self-defense and to test weapons.

The US Indo-Pacific Command said that the launch "highlighted the destabilizing impact of [North Korea's] illicit weapons program".

On Tuesday, Japanese media quoted the defense ministry as saying that the projectile may have been a ballistic missile, which is banned under United Nations sanctions.

On Wednesday Pyongyang called on the United States and South Korea to scrap their "double standards" on weapons programs to restart diplomatic talks, reported Reuters.

Reports say North Korea is increasingly eyeing next-generation missiles to ramp up its arsenal with hypersonic missiles which allows very little time for adversaries to defend after it is launched.