SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea on Monday said it flight-tested a new solid-fuel intermediate-range missile tipped with a hypersonic warhead as it pursues more powerful, harder-to-detect weapons designed to strike remote U.S. targets in the region.
The report by North Korea’s state media came a day after the South Korean and Japanese militaries detected the launch from a site near the North Korean capital of Pyongyang, in what was the North’s first ballistic test of 2024.
The launch came two months after North Korea said it successfully tested engines for a new solid-fuel intermediate-range ballistic missile, which reflected a push to advance its lineup of weapons targeting U.S. military bases in Guam and Japan.
The North’s official Korean Central News Agency said Sunday’s launch was aimed at verifying the reliability of the missile’s solid-fuel engines and the maneuverable flight capabilities of the hypersonic warhead, which the report implied was an upgraded version of previous vehicles designed to perform intermediate-range strikes.
The report described the test as a success but didn’t provide details. It didn’t mention whether North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attended the test, which it said was part of the country’s regular weapons development activities and did not affect the security of neighbors.