North Korea Claimed It Successfully Tested A New Hypersonic Missile

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

North Korea fired the missile towards the sea off its east coast, said South Korea's military.

The North Korean state media said the new missile was one of the five most important new weapon systems laid out in its five-year military development plan.

Tuesday's launch is another indication of Pyongyang's growing weapons technology despite its strict sanctions.

The hypersonic missiles are much faster and agile, fly towards targets at lower altitudes and can achieve more than five times the speed of sound - or about 6,200 km per hour, making them harder for the current missile defence system to intercept, according to ACP

In January, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un declared that scientists had "finished research" into developing hypersonic gliding warheads.

North Korea's recent tests - the third one this month alone - indicate that it is ramping up its weapons program.

The US has been calling for North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons, and Pyongyang's relationship with President Joe Biden's administration has so far been fraught with tension.

Pyongyang seems determined to prove it will continue to develop new weapons systems, saying they are needed for its own self-defence.

Just last week, North Korea said it was willing to consider another summit with South Korea if mutual respect between the neighbours can be assured, following South Korean President Moon Jae-in's call for a declaration to formally end the 1950-1953 Korean War.

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