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North Korea Declares It Launched Hypersonic Missile After US Airports Lockdown

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North Korea Declares It Launched Hypersonic Missile After US Airports Lockdown

Airports on the west coast of the USA were temporarily locked down after North Korea conducted yet another hypersonic missile launch test.

The US Federal Aviation Authority issued a statement confirming that flights were briefly paused after the incident.

North Korea claims that leader Kim Jong-un personally oversaw the successful test, as hypersonic missile capability is a ‘top priority’ for the hermit nation.

After the launch, Kim said that North Korea must ‘further accelerate efforts to steadily build up the country’s strategic military muscle both in quality and quantity’.

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Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

Whilst the FAA stopped short of confirming that the launch was responsible for the subsequent shutdown, a statement said: “As a matter of precaution, the FAA temporarily paused departures at some airports along the West Coast on Monday night. Full operations resumed in less than 15 minutes. The FAA regularly takes precautionary measures.

“We are reviewing the process around this ground stop as we do after all such events."

The US government has now issued sanctions to five officials from North Korea in response to the test, which is the second in a week.

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The US Treasury’s chief of terrorism and financial intelligence, Brian Nelson, said: “The DPRK’s (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) latest missile launches are further evidence that it continues to advance prohibited programmes despite the international community’s calls for diplomacy and denuclearisation.”

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

The sanctions were imposed over the officials roles in obtaining technology and equipment for the missile programmes in North Korea.

Sanctions were also ordered against another North Korean, as well as a Russian company and a Russian national who are believed to have supported the country’s nuclear weapons development programme.

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The latest test in that programme was reported by several countries, including North Korea’s closest neighbour South Korea, and Japan.

The government of Japan said that it detected a ‘ballistic missile-like object’ and South Korea’s joint chief of staff (JCS) said: "Our military detected a suspected ballistic missile fired by North Korea from land towards the East Sea.”

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

Before announcing the launch, North Korea’s state media said that the missile was a hypersonic glide vehicle that – after leaving the rocket booster – performed a ‘glide jump flight’ and demonstrated ‘corkscrew manoeuvring’ before it collided with a sea target some 1,000 miles away.

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Mr Kim’s nation continues to push ahead with their attempts to gain nuclear capabilities, despite growing calls from the international community to cease their ambitions.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Kim Jong-un, Politics, World News, US News, Travel

Tom Wood
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