Breaking News
Get Actionable Insights with InvestingPro+: Start 7 Day FREE Trial Register here
Investing Pro 0
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your experience. Save up to 40% More details

North Korea launches 'more advanced' missile after hypersonic test

WorldJan 11, 2022 01:35PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A North Korea flag flutters next to concertina wire at the North Korean embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia March 9, 2017. REUTERS/Edgar Su/File Photo 2/2

By Josh Smith and Hyonhee Shin

SEOUL (Reuters) -North Korea appeared to test-fire a ballistic missile on Tuesday that may be more advanced than a "hypersonic" one it launched less than a week ago, South Korea's military said, as Pyongyang pursues increasingly powerful weapons.

Tuesday's launch, condemned by authorities in Washington and Tokyo and prompting an expression of concern from the U.N. secretary general, underscored North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's New Year's vow to bolster the military with cutting-edge technology at a time when talks with South Korea and the United States have stalled.

Initial estimates found the missile travelled more than 700 km (435 miles) to a maximum altitude of 60 km at up to 10 times the speed of sound (12,348 km/h), South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said in a statement.

"We assess that this is more advanced than the missile North Korea fired on Jan. 5, though South Korean and U.S. intelligence authorities are conducting detailed analysis," the JCS said.

The launch was detected around 7:27 a.m. (2227 GMT Monday) from North Korea's Jagang Province toward the ocean off its east coast, the same location as last week's test.

The U.S. military's Indopacific Command said while it had assessed that the launch did not pose an immediate threat to the United States or its allies, it "highlights the destabilising impact of North Korea's illicit weapons program."

The Federal Aviation Administration said on Tuesday it briefly halted departures at some U.S. West Coast airports around the time of reports that North Korea had launched a ballistic missile.

A U.S. official said the pause lasted less than 15 minutes "due to initial reports of events in the Indo-Pacific region," without directly tying it to the missile launch.

North Korea has joined a global race in developing hypersonic missiles, usually defined as types reaching at least five times the speed of sound - and which can manoeuvre at relatively low trajectories, making them much harder to detect and intercept.

South Korean military officials cast doubts on the capabilities of the hypersonic missile North Korea claimed to have test-fired last Wednesday, saying it appeared to represent limited progress over Pyongyang's existing ballistic missiles.

"Today's test might be intended to send a message to the South after authorities here said the earlier test was a failure and did not involve a hypersonic missile," Kim Dong-yup, a former South Korea Navy officer who teaches at Seoul's Kyungnam University.


South Korea's National Security Council held an emergency meeting and President Moon Jae-in expressed concerns over the series of launches coming ahead of South Korea's March 9 presidential election.

The nuclear envoys of South Korea and the United States talked on the phone to share their assessment on the missile test and coordinate responses. They agreed to continue to try to restart the peace process with North Korea, South Korea's foreign ministry said.

"The United States condemns the DPRK's ballistic missile launch," a U.S. State Department spokesperson said, while U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres was "very concerned" and repeated a call for North Korea to comply with U.N. resolutions and resume talks.

"Diplomatic engagement is the only way to reach a sustainable peace and a complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula," Dujarric said.

U.N. Security Council resolutions ban all North Korean ballistic missile and nuclear tests and have imposed sanctions over the programmes.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida noted the United Nations had just finished discussions on how to respond to last week's launch and called North Korea's continuing launches "extremely regrettable."

Tuesday's test occurred hours after the U.S. mission to the United Nations, joined by France, Ireland, Japan, the United Kingdom and Albania, condemned last week's launch and called on U.N. member states to fulfil their sanctions obligations.

China and Russia have pushed the U.N. Security Council to ease sanctions on North Korea by removing a ban on Pyongyang's exports of statues, seafood and textiles, and lifting a refined petroleum imports cap.

North Korea has said it is open to talks, but only if the United States and others drop "hostile policies" such as sanctions and military drills.

Few observers expect Kim to ever fully surrender his nuclear arsenal and North Korea argues its military activities are similar to those of other countries.

North Korea launches 'more advanced' missile after hypersonic test

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Post also to:
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Continue with Google
Sign up with Email