Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Kim backs ‘military muscle’ as he watches hypersonic missile test | Kim Jong Un News | Al Jazeera

North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un personally oversaw the successful test of a hypersonic missile and called on scientists to accelerate efforts to build up the country’s “military muscle”, state media reported on Wednesday.

It is the first time Kim has been shown attending a missile launch in nearly two years.

Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the ruling Workers’ Party, splashed the launch on its front page with photographs posted on its website showing Kim Jong Un dressed in a long, black leather coat and using binoculars to watch the launch. Other images showed the missile blasting off in a cloud of smoke and Kim on a train discussing charts with officials, including his sister.

“The superior manoeuvreability of the hypersonic glide vehicle was more strikingly verified through the final test-fire,” the official Korean Central News Agency said, indicating that the launch involved a missile that was first tested last week.

Japan and South Korea both reported the launch on Tuesday, saying they suspected it was a ballistic missile, which is banned by the United Nations.

Despite the imposition of international sanctions and a deteriorating economy, Kim has pushed for the modernisation of North Korea’s military and the adoption of more sophisticated weaponry since he took power a decade ago.

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