close
Tuesday April 23, 2024

North Korea fires suspected intermediate-range ballistic missile

By REUTERS
April 03, 2024
This picture shows the test firing of a North Korean Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) at Pyongyang International Airport, on March 16, 2023. — AFP
This picture shows the test firing of a North Korean Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) at Pyongyang International Airport, on March 16, 2023. — AFP

SEOUL: North Korea fired a suspected intermediate-range ballistic missile into the sea on Tuesday in a possible test of a new rocket using solid fuel, drawing swift condemnation from South Korea, Japan and the United States.

South Korea’s military said it detected what appeared to be an intermediate-range ballistic missile launched from an area of the North Korean capital Pyongyang on Tuesday at 6:53 am (2153 GMT on Monday) before plunginginto the sea off the east coast.

It flew about 600-km before falling into sea, South Korea said, while Japan’s defence ministry estimated it covered a distance of 650-km and reached a maximum altitude of 100-km. South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff did not specify the exact type of missile or what type of warhead it may have carried, but North Korea has been testing a new intermediate-range hypersonic missile powered by a solid-fuel engine.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff spokesman Lee Sung-jun said the launch was probably “related” to the testing of a recent solid-fuel engine.

In March, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un oversaw a ground test of a solid-fuel engine for a new type of intermediate-range hypersonic missile to develop national defence capability, state media reported.