Testing of missiles is now an integral part of North Korea's preparedness. The country conducted another missile in the presence of Kim Jong-un, state news agency KCNA reported. The report added the rocket had "precisely hit" a target at a distance of 621 miles.

This category of missiles can avoid detection for more extended periods compared to ballistic missiles. North Korea carried out two other missile tests during the week. In the course of his New Year speech, the leader of the North had talked about bolstering the defenses of Pyongyang. This could be a step in that direction.

South Korea and Japan, allies of the United States, confirmed the launches. The direction of the missile was towards the sea. With this launch, North Korea joins an elite group of countries like the United States and China trying to develop hypersonic missiles. North Korea had tested such a missile in January, and the U.S., U.K. and France condemned the move. They described these as "destabilizing actions."

The North says the missile has superior qualities to manoeuver

State news agency KCNA said the country did launch a hypersonic missile. It is a weapon of a different genre and possesses superior qualities to manoeuver. Missiles in this category usually approach the target at lower altitudes when compared to ballistic missiles.

They also have the power to fly at speeds of nearly five times the speed of sound – or about 3,850mph. That makes them formidable weapons in any arsenal.

Kim Jong-un was present at the launch. It was the first time since March 2020 that he had officially attended a missile launch. An official of a group that keeps a tab on the hermit kingdom told a media outlet that the leader of the North probably attended other tests unofficially.

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However, his appearance on Page One of a leading newspaper is significant.

According to Al Jazeera, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un wants his scientists to accelerate efforts to strengthen the country's "military muscle." He said this as he oversaw the successful test of a hypersonic missile. He had last attended a missile launch nearly two years ago.

His sister was with him as he discussed the feat with his officials while on a train. The initial testing of the missile was done last week. Japan and South Korea confirmed the launch. They suspected it to be a ballistic missile. There is a ban by the United Nations on weapons in this category.

International sanctions have affected the economy of North Korea

Despite international sanctions imposed on North Korea, its leader Kim Jong-un continues to pursue his nuclear ambitions. He came to power a decade back and has laid stress on the modernization of his military and going in for more sophisticated weaponry. Al Jazeera says hypersonic missiles were on top of the list. They are in the category of strategic weapons and are in the five-year plan of Pyongyang.

A nuclear-armed country in the Korean peninsula could be a global threat. Talks between former U.S. President Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un on denuclearization of the peninsula was a futile exercise because of a clash of priorities. The former wanted the North to abandon its nuclear programs first, but the latter wanted sanctions ease.