North Korea Tests 'Super-Large Warhead': State Media

(MENAFN- Gulf Times) North Korea has tested a“super-large warhead” designed for a strategic cruise
missile, state media
said yesterday, the most recent test since UN sanctions monitoring against the nuclear-armed nation was upended last month by Russia.
The announcement comes after Russia in March used its UN Security Council veto to effectively end UN monitoring of violations of the raft of sanctions on Kim Jong-un's government
for its nuclear and weapons programme.
Analysts have warned that North Korea could be testing cruise
missiles ahead of sending them to Russia for use in Ukraine, with Washington and Seoul claiming Kim has shipped weapons to Moscow, despite UN sanctions banning any such moves.
“The DPRK Missile Administration has conducted a power test of a super-large warhead designed for 'Hwasal-1 Ra-3' strategic cruise
missile”, KCNA news agency said yesterday, referring to North Korea by an abbreviation for its official name.
North Korea also carried out a test launch of a“'Pyoljji-1-2' new-type anti-aircraft missile in the West Sea of Korea”, KCNA said, adding that both tests were carried out on Friday afternoon.
Seoul's military said yesterday it detected“several cruise
missiles and surface-to-air missiles” fired toward the same body of water, also known as the Yellow Sea, at around 3:30pm (0630GMT) on Friday. It added that it was“closely watching” the North's military activities, and if Pyongyang“commits a provocation, we will punish it overwhelmingly and resolutely”.
This year, Pyongyang has declared South Korea its“principal enemy”, jettisoned agencies dedicated to reunification and outreach, and threatened war over“even 0.001 mm” of territorial infringement.
Unlike their ballistic counterparts, the testing of cruise
missiles is not banned under current UN sanctions on North Korea.
Cruise missiles tend to be jet-propelled and fly at a lower altitude than more sophisticated ballistic missiles, making them harder to detect and intercept.
Ahn Chan-il, a defector-turned-researcher who runs the World Institute for North Korea Studies, told AFP that the test announced yesterday appears to involve“a new type of solid fuel, and it seems to be part of the production of exports in response to Russian demand”. Pyongyang said yesterday the tests were“part of the regular activities” of the country's missile administration and had“nothing to do with the surrounding situation”.
A“certain goal was attained” through the tests, it added, without giving further details.
Yang Moo-jin, president of the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul, said it appeared that the tests were intended“to determine the type and potency - in terms of weight and destructiveness - of a warhead that can be equipped on a highly manoeuvrable cruise
North Korea will continue to“make improvements in the performance of its conventional weapons, as well as its cruise
missiles”, on top of its nuclear programme, he said.


Gulf Times

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