Earth image data was taken from space by a camera installed on the Hwasong 12-type missile warhead
A day after Noord -Korea test-fired its Hwasong 12-type intermediate and long-range ballistic missile, it revealed exoatmospheric photos of the launch taken from space showing the Korean peninsula region, state media reported.
The earth image data was taken from space by a camera installed on the Hwasong 12-type missile warhead, KCNA berig, adding that the camera mounted on the missile helped them confirm the accuracy, security and effectiveness of the operation.
Officials said the test-fire of Hwasong-12 was “aimed to selectively evaluate the missile being produced and deployed and to verify the overall accuracy of the weapon system”, reported KCNA.
Sunday’s ballistic missile launch of the country’s longest-range weapon was its biggest show of military capability since 2017, a likely attempt to suggest it is ready to resume testing nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles.
This is the seventh missile launch from North Korean soil in January alone this year.
While North Korean leader Kim Jong-un remained absent from this launch, it was conducted under the country’s academy of defence science, the second economy commission and other institutions on Sunday.
Hwasong-12, the same weapon North Korea used to threaten the US territory of Guam, was launched from the “highest angle firing system from the northwestern area to the East Sea of Korea in consideration of the security of the neighbouring countries”, state media reported.
South Korea and Japan confirmed the missile launch on Sunday, stating the intermediate and long-range ballistic missile flew for about 800km and soared as high as 2,000km at its maximum altitude before hitting the waters between Japan and the Korean peninsula.
Experts and analysts on North Korea’s unusually frequent missile launches have said Mr Kim is trying to put pressure on Joe Biden’s administration and seeking a global acceptance of its sanctioned programmes – but not in an attention-seeking manner.
“The idea that Kim Jong-un orders tests of missiles just to ‘get attention’ is one of the most frustrating and stubbornly held misconceptions about North Korea today,” said Markus Garlauskas, a senior fellow with the Atlantic Council think tank.
Hy het bygevoeg: “The North Koreans are not spoiled children ‘acting out’ … nor are these missiles just for show as propaganda ploys.”
“These weapons programmes are very real, they are making meaningful strides much quicker than many give them credit for,” the former US national intelligence officer for North Korea said.
Pyongyang has said it is open to the diplomatic route but has also refused to directly engage, training its guns at Washington for waging support for sanctions, joint military drills and arms build-up in South Korea and the region, against its preference.
Mr Kim may continue perfecting weapons technology and maintain its high price tag for talks even if Washington paid more attention to North Korea’s launches, said Duyeon Kim, adjunct senior fellow of Indo-Pacific Security Program at Centre for a New American Security.
A senior US official expressed concern at North Korea flexing its military arm and said Washington is ready to show commitment to its allies.
“It’s not just what they did yesterday, it’s the fact that this is coming on the heels of quite a significant number of tests in this month,” the official said, urging North Korea to come to the table for direct talks.