North Korea announces the successful launch of a new medium-range ballistic missile equipped with a warhead

North Korea announced on Wednesday that it had successfully tested a new medium-range ballistic missile equipped with a hypersonic warhead, stressing that all missiles developed by the country are now solid-fueled and have nuclear capabilities. The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un supervised the testing of the Hwasong-16 missile during the launch. For its part, the South Korean army said that it detected the launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile from the Pyongyang region, and the missile flew for a distance of about 600 kilometers before falling into the East Sea. The latest launch came about three months after North Korea tested a medium-range hypersonic missile on January 14. Last month, North Korea conducted a ground test of a solid-fuel engine for a new medium-range ballistic missile loaded with a hypersonic warhead. Kim described the Hwasong-16 missile as a "powerful strategic attack weapon." The North Korean leader said the country has perfected the project to "put all tactical, operational and strategic missiles of different ranges on the basis of carrying nuclear warheads and controlled warheads and solid propellants," according to KCNA. During the test, the hypersonic gliding warhead reached its first peak at an altitude of 101.1 kilometers and the second at an altitude of 72.3 kilometers, while traveling a distance of 1,000 kilometers as planned to precisely strike the waters in the East Sea, KCNA said. Kim referred to the military confrontation actions and war exercises carried out by North Korea's enemies, saying: "The most urgent task at the present time for our country is to develop overwhelming power capable of containing and controlling enemies." North Korea has stepped up weapons testing this year, including launching cruise missiles from sea and land and firing exercises involving very large multiple rocket launchers. For its part, the South Korean military is closely monitoring North Korea's preparations for further possible provocat ions ahead of the parliamentary elections scheduled for April 10 in South Korea and major political events in Pyongyang this month. North Korea celebrates the birthday of its late founder Kim Il-sung on April 15, and it also celebrates the anniversary of the founding of the Korean People's Revolutionary Army on April 25. Source: National Iraqi News Agency