North Korea Fires Anti-Aircraft Missile

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North Korea has fired a “newly developed” anti-aircraft missile, the state-run North Korean news agency KCNA reported Friday. The missile’s “notable combat performance” is said to be due to the introduction of “new key technologies,” the agency said.

 

The test followed a series of weapons launches by North Korea in the past month. For example, the country fired a new type of hypersonic missile on Tuesday. Hypersonic missiles are so fast that they are difficult to intercept by existing missile defence systems.

This time it concerns the launch of an anti-aircraft missile. Both anti-aircraft and hypersonic missiles are not covered by UN resolutions limiting North Korea’s arsenal. For example, the country is not allowed to develop nuclear weapons or fire ballistic missiles. Anti-aircraft missiles are much smaller than ballistic missiles and more difficult to detect from afar.

The latest tests with anti-aircraft and hypersonic missiles have nevertheless led to international condemnation. For example, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the recent tests created “greater prospects of instability and insecurity”.

The United States, Britain and France have convened a UN Security Council meeting on North Korea for Friday. That meeting was initially scheduled for Thursday but was postponed by Russia and China, who asked for more time to study the situation. A diplomatic source told the French news agency AFP.

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