North Korea Test-Fires New ‘Nuclear-Capable' Ballistic Missiles
North Korea fires new ‘nuclear-capable’ ballistic missiles.
PYONGYANG, NORTH KOREA — North Korea has successfully tested a new long range, ground-launched cruise missile which may be its first of this kind to have nuclear capabilities, according to the country’s state media outlet KCNA, cited by The Drive.
Described as ‘a strategic weapon of great significance,’ the use of the word ‘strategic’ is often interpreted as a euphemism for nuclear capabilities, according to a senior fellow at the U.S.-based Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, who spoke to Reuters.
The missile flew 930 miles or 1,500 kilometers with a flying time of 126 minutes, according to the KCNA. However, it flew in oval and figure-of-eight flight orbits, so it actually came down inside North Korean territorial waters.
The Drives notes that in any conflict scenario cruise missiles could be used to saturate an enemy’s defenses, with large numbers of attacking from different directions and their flatter trajectories making them hard to pick up.
It remains unclear if North Korea can build nuclear warheads small enough to be harnessed on a cruise missile, but Reuters reports that leader Kim Jong Un said developing smaller bombs is a top goal earlier this year.
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