KIM Jong-un cheered on North Korea’s third hypersonic missile test as his almighty sister watched in the background.
Pictures released to state media show the dictator standing next to a screen while his sister Kim Yo-jong and officials applauded.
The nuclear-armed state media said the missile flew 435 miles at an altitude of about 37 miles and reached a speed of Mach 10 – or 7672mph.
The official KCNA news agency said the most recent test demonstrated “the superior maneuverability of the hypersonic glide vehicle” and claimed it hit a target some 620 miles away.
The presence of 35-year-old Yo-jong is considered significant and a sign of her growing influence. NK News reported.
“Everything about this test is a reminder that North Korea is going all out for a new military modernization campaign,” said Ankit Panda of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
The latest test follows a previous test conducted by North Korea earlier this week to land a plane in Southern California.
Hypersonic missiles travel at at least Mach 5 – 5 times the speed of sound.
The technology involves a hover vehicle that is launched onto a missile at a range of about 40 miles and then detached to a target’s home.
Unlike conventional ballistic missiles, when they land on earth, they can be moved at extremely high speeds, making them difficult to intercept.
Russia and China are seen as world leaders in hypersonic missiles, with the United States investing to catch up.
Hypersonic missile listed among the “top priority” tasks for developing strategic weapons in North Korea’s five-year plan.
After the launch, Kim said North Korea must “further accelerate efforts to firmly build up the country’s strategic military muscle in both quality and quantity and further modernize the military.” .
Leif-Eric Easley, a professor at Ewha University in Seoul, said the weapon was not ready for deployment.
However, Pyongyang’s ability to threaten its neighbors continues to grow, he added.
Kim Yo-jong was born in September 1987, the daughter of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il.
She is said to have a close relationship with her brother Kim Jong-un from an early age.
The two studied together in Switzerland from 1996 to 2000, each dependent on the other for company and support during those years of isolation.
It is believed that she went on to graduate school at Kim Il-sung Military University and then computer science at Kim Il-sung University.
The tests came as North Korea refused to respond to US calls for talks.
Dialogue between Washington and Pyongyang remains stalled and the country is subject to numerous international sanctions over its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
https://www.thesun.ie/news/8191845/kim-jong-un-aunch-third-hypersonic-missile-sister/ Kim Jong-un happily cheers as he launches the THIRD supersonic rocket as his almighty sister is pictured watching the test