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North Korea’s hypersonic missile is a game-changer

SEOUL – North Korea on Tuesday (January 11) morning test-fired a missile that South Korea confirmed later in the day flew at hypersonic speeds.

Given that the missile fell far short of the intercontinental ranges required to hit the United States, the test may have generated yawns among newsreaders accustomed to Pyongyang’s frequent projectile launches.

But a closer look points to an ominous trend in the state’s military capabilities that is shattering decades of conventional strategic wisdom.

In a clear signal of the importance of the test, North Korean state media on Wednesday ran photographs of national leader Kim Jong Un monitoring the launch. His powerful sister, Kim Yo Jong, was also present at the test site.  

It is the first time the strongman has been publically shown attending a missile launch in almost two years.