Thursday, July 18, 2024

North Korea says it tested new Hwasong-18 long-range missile

The Korean Central Television (KCTV) aired footage depicting the launch of a Hwasong-18 solid-fuel Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) on Monday morning.

North Korean leader King Jong Un said the missile test demonstrates that he is prepared to launch a nuclear missile at the U.S. “when Washington makes a wrong decision against” North Korea.

The South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) confirmed the missile’s firing from the vicinity of Pyongyang at 8:24 a.m., providing minimal details regarding the launch.

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“While elevating our alert readiness, our military is maintaining a full readiness posture by closely sharing data on the ‘North Korean ballistic missile’ with the United States and Japan,” the JCS said in a text message sent to reporters.

This test marks North Korea’s fifth ICBM launch this year alone, marking the highest recorded number of ICBM launches in a single calendar year by the nation.

In earlier months, the North had previously fired the Hwasong-15 and Hwasong-17 ICBMs in February and March, respectively. Subsequent tests involved the solid-fuel Hwasong-18 in April, followed by a second test in July.

The recent missile launch followed closely after the firing of a short-range missile from Pyongyang late Sunday, traveling approximately 570 kilometers before descending into the East Sea.

The consecutive missile launches align with previous suggestions by South Korea’s First Deputy National Security Adviser, Kim Tae-hyo, who had hinted at the potential for an ICBM launch within the current month.

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Executive Editor

About author:

Daisuke Sato
Daisuke Sato
Daisuke Sato is defense reporter, covering the Asia-Pacific defense industrial base, defense markets and all related issues. He has covered the US and Japan bilateral exercises for several years.

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