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North Korea's Cruise Missile Test and Its Impact on Korean Peninsula and Beyond

North Korea's Cruise Missile Test and Its Impact on Korean Peninsula and Beyond

Context:

  • In what could escalate tensions between Pyongyang and Washington once again, North Korea  successfully test-fired newly developed long-range cruise missiles in an attempt to expand its military capabilities.

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Key Details:

  • The missiles demonstrated an ability to hit targets 1,500 km away during the tests.

  • The missiles is being called as "strategic weapon of great significance".

  • The cruise missiles travelled for over 7,500 seconds "along an oval and pattern-8 flight orbits in the air" to hit the target that was 1,500 km away.

  • It said that the tests were conducted in the territorial land and waters of North Korea.

North Korea's cruise missile and impact on Korean peninsula?

  • North Korea is under international sanctions for its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programmes.

    • However, it can develop and test cruise missiles.

  • These missile tests by North Korea pose "a considerable threat". The missile tests were conducted in response to joint South Korea-US military drills last month.

  • If the North has sufficiently miniaturised a nuclear warhead, it can be loaded onto a cruise missile as well.

  • These missiles can deliver warheads "throughout South Korea and Japan".

  • An intermediate-range land-attack cruise missile is a pretty serious capability for North Korea.

  • This is another system that is designed to fly under missile defence radars or around them."

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Cruise missile:

  • A cruise missile is a guided missile used against terrestrial targets, that remains in the atmosphere and flies the major portion of its flight path at approximately constant speed.

  • Cruise missiles are designed to deliver a large warhead over long distances with high precision.

  • Modern cruise missiles are capable of travelling at supersonic or high subsonic speeds, are self-navigating, and are able to fly on a non-ballistic, extremely low-altitude trajectory.

Source: Indian Express