North Korea's missile launches and growing capabilities
North Korea has been demonstrating its increasingly advanced military capability with a series of missile launches and tests356. Here are some key details:
- North Korea has test-fired its missiles from different locations and launch platforms3.
- The country has claimed to have successfully tested its largest-ever intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), dubbed the "Monster Missile" by some, which cruised at high altitude for more than 67 minutes before splashing down 1,090km (677 miles) away in the Sea of Japan35.
- North Korea has also conducted missile launches from the international airport outside the capital, Pyongyang, and launched a short-range missile from its experimental missile submarine3.
- The country has promised that an operational missile submarine would soon be deployed3.
- If North Korea does resume nuclear testing, it could include the development of smaller "tactical" warheads meant for battlefield use and designed to fit on short-range missiles, according to South Korean officials3.
- The launches have been a way for North Korea to show off its varied warhead carriers, including low-altitude cruise missiles which can be guided to attack close targets, as well as ballistic missiles launched high up into the atmosphere that can travel thousands of miles at hypersonic speeds5.
- The situation underscores the need for continued monitoring and diplomacy to prevent the escalation of tensions and the potential for conflict in the region37.