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North Korea claims to have fired intermediate-range missile

North Korea claims the missile was not a danger to other countries in the East Asia region. Tensions on the Korean Peninsula are skyrocketing after the North launched a spy satellite in November.

North Korea has successfully test-fired an intermediate-range solid-fuel ballistic missile, the state-run KCNA agency reported Monday.  

The aim of the launch on Sunday was to examine "the gliding and maneuvering characteristics" of the warhead along with the "reliability of newly developed multi-stage high-thrust solid-fuel engines."

KCNA claimed the launch did not jeopardize the security of neighboring countries and "had nothing to do with the regional situation." 

What we know about the missile launch

The missile, launched on Sunday afternoon, was armed with a hypersonic manoeuvrable controlled warhead, according to KCNA.

The missile flew about 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) into the East Sea, Seoul's Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement Sunday. 

It added that authorities in Seoul, Washington and Tokyo were analyzing the specifications.

Pyongyang had previously said it had tested its new solid-fuel engines for a medium-range ballistic missile on November 11 and November 14.

Tensions rising on Korean peninsula

The missile launch is the first since Pyongyang test-fired its Hwasong-18 missile in mid-December.

The solid-fueled intercontinental ballistic missile was designed to reach the US mainland and is the country's most advanced long-range weapon. 

Tensions between the two neighbors has been ramping up after Pyongyang launched a military spy satellite in November and pledged to expand its nuclear arsenal.

Experts have warned that Pyongyang could increase its test-firing of ballistic missiles in the run up to South Korea's parliamentary elections in April and the US presidential elections in November.

Source: Dw

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