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(VIDEO) North Korea’s Latest Hypersonic Missile “Hwasong-16B” Threatens Guam

(VIDEO) Regional arms experts warns that the continued development of North Korea's latest hypersonic missile could potentially escalate into a threat specifically targeting Guam, a strategically vital U.S. military installation in the Indo-Pacific region.

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(DEFENCE SECURITY ASIA) — North Korea has conducted a test launch of its latest intermediate-range hypersonic missile named “Hwasong-16B,” designed to evade enemy air defense systems and strike its enemies’ vital interests in the region.

 Regional arms experts suggest that if North Korea’s latest hypersonic missile is further developed, it could pose a threat and target Guam, a crucial U.S. military base in the Indo-Pacific region.

North Korean state news agency, KCNA, has circulated several images and videos depicting the launch of the “Hwasong-16B” hypersonic missile as evidence of its actual occurrence.

The hypersonic guided missile, capable of traveling five times faster than the speed of sound, also employs solid-fuel propellant, thus facilitating concealment and mobility across the country compared to liquid propellant.

The employment of solid fuel propellant complicates the tracking and monitoring of the missile system by satellites or reconnaissance aircraft.

According to KCNA, the launch of North Korea’s hypersonic missile “Hwasong-16B” was also witnessed by its leader, Kim Jong-un, and senior military officials.

 Kim praised the launch of the country’s latest hypersonic ballistic missile, demonstrating the “sophistication” of the country’s defense technology.

According to KCNA, North Korea’s leader stated that the country had developed missiles capable of targeting distant locations equipped with nuclear warheads and solid-fuel propulsion.

The North Korean news agency stated that Pyongyang’s latest hypersonic missile flew 1,000 kilometers before “falling” into waters between South Korea and Japan.

Hwasong-16B
North Korea’s latest hypersonic intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM)  could threaten Guam

Hwasong-16B

“North Korea has declared that it has successfully armed all of its ballistic missiles with nuclear warheads and simultaneously stated that its hypersonic guided missiles can also be equipped with nuclear warheads,” said a missile expert at the Research Institute for National Strategy in South Korea.

“The development of intermediate-range hypersonic missiles is aimed at Guam and Alaska,” said ballistic guided missile expert Chan Yong-Keun, who works at the Research Institute for National Strategy in South Korea. 

Two weeks ago, the United States military reportedly successfully conducted an effectiveness study on the operation of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) air defense system on Guam to address the threat of ballistic missile attacks, particularly from China and North Korea.

According to the U.S. military, the study was crucial to assess readiness and operational effectiveness while emphasizing the unit’s importance in defending Guam and its surrounding areas from any ballistic missile threats.

With the completion of the study, it signifies the unit’s readiness to handle any potential ballistic missile attacks on the island, which serves as the foremost military base for the United States in the Indo-Pacific.

During the study, members of the unit operating the THAAD anti-ballistic air defense system underwent training in real combat scenarios, including rapid deployment and simulations of handling ballistic missile attacks. — DSA

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