N. Korea says successfully conducted multiple warhead missile capability test


Seoul, June 27 (IANS) North Korea has successfully conducted a missile test aimed at securing multiple warhead capability, state media reported on Thursday, contradicting South Korea’s assessment that the test is believed to have ended in failure.

During the test conducted on Wednesday, North Korea’s Missile Administration “successfully conducted the separation and guidance control test of individual mobile warheads”, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.

North Korea said the test was “aimed at securing the MIRV capability”, referring to multiple independently targetable reentry vehicle technology, which allows a single ballistic missile to deliver multiple warheads to different targets.

The announcement contradicts South Korea’s assessment that the missile exploded in the air, Yonhap news agency reported.

On Wednesday, South Korea said that the missile was launched from an area in or around Pyongyang at around 5:30 a.m. but exploded over the East Sea after flying some 250 km.

However, North Korea said the test “used the first-stage engine of an intermediate-range solid-fuel ballistic missile within a 170-200 kilometre radius”.

The separated mobile warheads were guided correctly to three target coordinates, the KCNA said.

The effectiveness of a decoy separated from the missile was also verified by anti-air radar, it added.

The test was overseen by Pak Jong-chon, vice chairman of the Central Military Commission of North Korea’s ruling Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK), and Kim Jong-sik, first vice department director of the WPK Central Committee, the KCNA said.

The officials emphasised that enhancing “the MIRV capability is a very important defence technological task and a top priority of the WPK Central Committee,” the KCNA reported, suggesting it might also be a top priority for North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Developing MIRV technology was included in North Korea’s five-year development plan, which was unveiled during the eighth congress of the WPK in January 2021.

North Korea claimed that “the test is part of the administration’s normal activities,” the KCNA said.

This is the first time North Korea has publicly disclosed that it conducted a missile test to secure multiple warhead capability.

South Korea, the US and Japan condemned North Korea’s ballistic missile launch as a violation of UN Security Council resolutions.



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