North Korea: Expert on nuclear and military capabilities

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The rogue regime fired a “hypersonic missile” on Wednesday that successfully hit a target, according to reports. It is the second test of its kind and comes ahead of Kim’s birthday on January 8. It has put US officials on red alert, with Secretary of State Antony Blinken stating Washington is taking the “new capability seriously,” while also condemning the move.

The launch was the first by North Korea since October and was detected by several militaries in the region, including the US.

It is now believed to be a “hypersonic” rocket, putting Pyongyang on level peggings with the likes of Russia and China who have recently tested similar technology.

Hypersonic weapons usually fly towards targets at lower altitudes than ballistic missiles and can achieve more than five times the speed of sound – or about 3,850mph.

Despite their name, analysts say the main feature of hypersonic weapons is not speed – which can sometimes be matched or exceeded by traditional ballistic missile warheads – but their manoeuvrability.

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