Self-declared nuclear power North Korea has successfully tested new long-range cruise missiles over the weekend, according to South Korean sources. This was reported by the South Korean news agency Yonhap on Monday (local time) with reference to the North Korean agency KCNA. According to the report, the new type was tested on Saturday and Sunday after two years of research on it.
According to KCNA, the missiles flew for about two hours and six minutes on an oval trajectory over the mainland and waters in North Korea, hitting targets 1500 kilometers away.UN resolutions prohibit North Korea from testing ballistic missiles, which can also carry nuclear warheads depending on their design. Tests of cruise missiles, on the other hand, are not subject to sanctions against the country. Unlike ballistic missiles, cruise missiles have permanent propulsion of their own.
The country is subject to international sanctions because of its nuclear weapons program.North Korea's KCNA news agency further reported, according to Yonhap, that development of the long-range cruise missile, a strategic weapon of great significance, has advanced in recent years. Detailed tests of missile parts, a large number of engine tests on the ground, control and guidance tests have been successfully conducted, he said.
On Thursday night, North Korea held a night military parade for the third time in a year. The occasion for the show of troops in the center of the capital Pyongyang was the 73rd anniversary of the founding of the state. North Korea often uses important ceremonial or commemorative days to show military strength. The country last held a military parade under night skies in January and before that in October 2020, demonstrating ballistic missiles with different ranges.
Negotiations over North Korea's nuclear program have not progressed since Kim Jong-un's failed summit with former U.S. President Donald Trump in Vietnam in February 2019. At a party congress earlier this year, Kim had announced his country would strengthen its nuclear deterrent with new weapons, including new intercontinental ballistic missiles.
Photo by Micha Brandli