North Korea nuclear program
North Korea nuclear program iStock

North Korea confirmed on Wednesday it had test fired a "hypersonic missile" this week that successfully hit a target, Reuters reported, citing state news agency KCNA.

The launch on Wednesday was the first by North Korea since October and was detected by several militaries in the region, drawing criticism from governments in the United States, South Korea, and Japan.

North Korea first tested a hypersonic missile in September. In Wednesday's test, KCNA said, the "hypersonic gliding warhead" detached from its rocket booster and maneuvered 120 km (75 miles) laterally before it "precisely hit" a target 700 km (430 miles) away.

The test also confirmed components such as flight control and its ability to operate in the winter, the North Korean news agency added.

The US State Department said the test violated multiple UN Security Council Resolutions and poses a threat to North Korea's neighbors and the international community.

North Korea regularly launches ballistic missiles and had a series of such tests in late 2021, the most recent of which was in October when it test-fired a new ballistic missile from a submarine.

North Korea restarted its missile tests after denuclearization talks with the United States came to a halt.

Former US President Donald Trump tried to reach an agreement with North Korea while in office. Kim and Trump met in Hanoi in 2019 for a summit that left nuclear talks at a standstill.

The pair had met three times since June 2018 but made little progress towards denuclearization.

The Biden administration reached out to North Korea shortly after taking office, but the country did not respond to those overtures.

In Biden’s first policy speech to Congress, he said nuclear programs in North Korea and Iran posed threats that would be addressed through “diplomacy and stern deterrence”.

Responding to that speech, North Korea dismissed the idea of talks with Washington, saying Biden’s speech was “intolerable” and “a big blunder."

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