North Korea successfully test fires first long-range cruise missile

13 September 2021, 07:17

The weapons were trialled across North Korea.
The weapons were trialled across North Korea. Picture: PA

By Emma Soteriou

North Korea has successfully test fired a long-range cruise missile, according to the country's state media.

The miissile, which has been in development for two years, is said to be able to hit targets almost 1,000 miles away.

It has been hailed as a "strategic weapon of great significance" in leader Kim Jong Un's attempt to strengthen the country's military might.

However, he was not present for the test, with top military official, Pak Jong Chon, instead observing the test-firings, according to the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) .

The leader previously doubled down on his pledge to bolster his nuclear deterrent due to US sanctions and pressure.

He issued a wish-list of assets, including longer-range intercontinental ballistic missiles, nuclear-powered submarines, spy satellites and tactical nuclear weapons.

It comes after talks between the US and North Korea broke down during a 2019 summit.

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The KCNA said that the missiles travelled for around 126 minutes across the country before hitting its target.

It added: "The test launches showed that the technical indices such as the thrust power of the newly developed turbine-blast engine, the missiles' navigation control and the end guided hit accuracy by the combined guided mode met the requirements of designs.

"In all, the efficiency and practicality of the weapon system operation was confirmed to be excellent."

North Korea ended a year-long pause in ballistic tests in March by firing two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea, continuing a tradition of testing new US administrations with weapons demonstrations.

However, there had not been any known test launches for months after, with Kim Jong Un focused on efforts to fend off the coronavirus and salvage the economy.

Japan, the US and South Korea have since said that they are monitoring the situation.