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As Pyongyang chases increasingly powerful weapons, North Korea appeared to test fire a ballistic missile on Tuesday that may be more capable than the “hypersonic missile” it launched less than a week earlier, according to South Korea’s military.
The launches reaffirmed North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s New Year’s resolution to provide cutting-edge technology to the military at a time when talks with South Korea and the US have stalled.
According to preliminary calculations, Tuesday’s missile traveled more than 700 kilometers (435 miles) to a maximum height of 60 kilometers (37 miles) at a high speed of up to ten times the speed of sound (12,348 kmh/7,673 mph), according to a statement from South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS).
“We believe this missile is more advanced than the one North Korea shot on January 5,” the JCS said, adding that “South Korean and US intelligence services are undertaking extensive investigation.”
North Korea’s Jagang Province launched a suspected ballistic missile toward the ocean off its east coast at 7:27 a.m. (2227 GMT Monday), the same place as last week’s test.