Kim Jong-un sends a strong message with hypersonic missile test


SEOUL, Jan 12 (EFE) .- North Korea detailed today that it successfully tested a hypersonic missile on Tuesday under the gaze of leader Kim Jong-un, whose presence reinforces the message that Pyongyang has no interest in the current supply of US dialogue and will continue to improve its weaponry.
The North Korean media not only confirmed that what was tested yesterday was, as many suspected, what the regime defines as a hypersonic missile; They also announced that Kim chaired the trial, the first time he has witnessed a weapons test in nearly two years.
The released photos show Kim following the test from inside a minibus modified to serve as an observation post.
He was accompanied by Jo Yong-won, who along with the leader is one of the five members of the presidium of the Politburo of the Workers’ Party, and his sister, Kim Yo-jong.
The assistance of Kim, who appeared for the last time in such a test on March 20, 2020, indicates that the regime has concluded the development of this type of weapon.
This was stated by the state agency KCNA and the main national newspaper, Rodong, which explained that “the test was aimed at the final verification of the general technical specifications of the hypersonic weapon system developed.”
Yesterday was the third test with this type of technology carried out by North Korea, which carried out the second of them just six days before.
According to North Korean media, the missile’s hypersonic gliding warhead maneuvered vertically after traveling 600 kilometers “and executed a sharp” horizontal turn maneuver before “hitting the target” in the waters of the Sea of ​​Japan (called the East Sea in the two Koreas). “located 1,000 kilometers” from the launch point.
On the eve, the South Korean army described what was launched by North Korea as a ballistic missile and not hypersonic, as it did when Pyongyang tested the same type of projectile on January 5 with less outstanding results.
The southern Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) pointed out that the missile launched yesterday traveled about 700 kilometers reaching a maximum speed of around Mach 10 (ten times the speed of sound) and stressed that it showed improvements compared to the test carried out six days earlier.
However, Seoul, which yesterday rushed to ensure that its army is capable of “detecting and intercepting” this weapon, considers the claims of the regime exaggerated and argues that it is not yet capable of perfecting the technology (including the type of warhead it carries. missile) of what is properly considered a hypersonic missile.
Apart from these discrepancies, there is no doubt that the weapons that North Korea has been testing since 2019 have shown greater sophistication when it comes to circumventing radar systems and that they potentially pose a growing threat to the antimissile shields of neighboring countries. .
North Korean state media today recalled that the development of hypersonic weapons is one of “the five main tasks within the five-year plan” to strengthen the North Korean arsenal established at the Workers’ Party congress in January last year.
That seems to be one of the great priorities of Kim Jong-un right now, who sealed the recent plenary session of the unique formation by highlighting the importance of strengthening precisely the military industry and the battered national economy without making any direct reference to Seoul or Washington.
Kim has rejected the invitations of the Administration of the current US president, Joe Biden, to reactivate the talks on denuclearization, stalled for almost three years, arguing that the North American country still maintains a “hostile” attitude towards his regime.
With the hermetic country even more closed in on itself if possible due to the pandemic (it has kept the borders closed tight since January 2020) and with no vaccination plan in sight (it has so far rejected all vaccine donations) the Kim’s strategy seems to view the possibility of dialogue as something distant.
Who knows if even as something that could happen once Pyongyang culminates the aforementioned five-year arms plan in 2025.
In any case, no one doubts that with each new military advance North Korea is getting better and better cards with which to negotiate in a hypothetical future.
Andrés Sánchez Braun

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