North Korea has test fired long-range cruise missile

North Korea says that it has fired long-range cruise missiles.

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North Korea says that it has fired long-range cruise missiles.

The country carried out the test successfully amid criticism from the west, especially from the US. The US maintains its stance that North Korea must denuclearize first to be free from the economic shackles. 

The missiles are “a strategic weapon of great significance” and flew 1,500km (930 miles) before hitting their targets and falling into the country’s territorial waters during the tests on Saturday and Sunday, KCNA said. The missiles traveled for 126 minutes along “oval and pattern-8 flight orbits”, it reported.

The United States military said Pyongyang’s latest missile tests posed “threats” to the country’s neighbors and beyond. North Korea’s neighbor Japan said it had “significant concerns” about the latest development. The chief cabinet secretary, Katsunobu Kato, said Tokyo would continue to work closely with the US and South Korea to monitor the situation.

The US and its allies are worried about North Korea’s nuclear program. Moreover, they feel that it could be used against the US and its allies collectively by North Korea and its friend China. Analysts say it is unclear whether North Korea has mastered the technology needed to build warheads small enough to be carried on a cruise missile, but the country’s leader, Kim Jong-un, said earlier this year that developing smaller bombs was a top goal.

North Korea’s cruise missiles usually generate less interest than ballistic missiles because they are not explicitly banned under UN Security Council resolutions. China has planned to talk to North Korea’s counterpart to dismantle its nuclear program in return for lifting the US sanctions. 

Last month, the UN atomic watchdog said North Korea appeared to have restarted a nuclear reactor that is widely believed to have produced plutonium for nuclear weapons. It is to see how the new Biden administration will react to the major developments of North Korea. His predecessor Trump took a staunch stance against North Korea. However, the response of the Biden administration is waiting.