North Korea Tests New Hypersonic Missile With A US Target In Mind

( – North Korea has successfully tested a hypersonic missile, its state-run media claims. The weapon was launched from the Sohae Satellite Launching Ground in the presence of dictator Kim Jong Un, who claims the rocket is capable of reaching US territory – specifically Guam, home to American military bases. Kim called it a “great success” that his “enemies” need to “know about.” The rocket is the latest in North Korea’s developing arsenal, and testing comes just weeks after the secretive state claimed it has possession of new hypersonic maneuverable warheads.

Chang Young-keun, a missile expert at South Korea’s Research Institute for National Strategy, suggests the recent exercise indicates that more will follow, and the country will soon perform tests on the new warheads.

The US and Japan furthermore recently stated that they have detected increased ballistic test launches, which the Korean dictator insists are a response to US hostility.

The United States, with its ally South Korea, has recently engaged in joint military exercises in the region and conducted trilateral drills with Japan. In February, the US Air Force carried out missile interception flights over the Korean peninsula as analysts warned that North Korea intends to strike US aircraft carriers and military bases in Japan in the event of conflict.

US Indo-Pacific Command issued a statement on March 18 stating that America does not consider recent North Korean testing as an immediate threat but urged Kim to “refrain from any further destabilizing act.” South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff condemned the missile launches as a clear act of provocation. They said its military would “continue to closely monitor” North Korea and “maintain the capability and readiness to overwhelmingly respond to any provocation.”

Kim Jong Un has threatened strikes against American targets since he came to power in 2011. While not considered an imminent threat, the US Institute of Peace says Kim is capable of inflicting harm on American allies and could conceivably do so “if backed into a corner.”

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