North Korean state media said Wednesday a projectile launched by Pyongyang a day earlier was a newly developed “hypersonic missile.”
South Korea had reported early Tuesday that its northern counterpart fired a short-range missile into the open sea.
Pyongyang said its Academy of Defence Science test-fired a “hypersonic missile Hwasong-8 newly developed by it in Toyang-ri,” in northern Chagang Province, North Korean state news agency KCNA said.
The development of the weapon was “pushed forward,” the agency said, adding that the system was of “great strategic significance.”
The test launch confirmed the “stability of the engine as well as of missile fuel ampoule that has been introduced for the first time,” with the KCNA saying the test results showed that all technical specifications satisfied the weapon’s design requirements.
On Tuesday the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) had classed the projectile as a short-range missile. The South Korean military said that it had not been initially clear whether the missile was ballistic or how far it had flown.
The Japanese government, which also confirmed the launch, said that it was most likely a ballistic missile, Kyodo news agency reported.
UN resolutions have barred North Korea from testing ballistic missiles, which, depending on their design, can be capable of carrying nuclear warheads.
This new launch comes just two weeks after Pyongyang tested two short-range ballistic missiles, which it later said were a new type of long-range cruise missile.
At the time, South Korean President Moon Jae In called those tests a “provocation.”