North Korea successfully test-fired a new type of intermediate-range missile that carried a hypersonic warhead on Tuesday, the country's official Korean Central News Agency said.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attended the test launch of the solid fuel-powered Hwasong-16 missile in a Pyongyang suburb. He claimed all missiles his country has developed are now based on solid fuel technology and are capable of carrying nuclear warheads, the report said Wednesday.

North Korea launched a ballistic missile toward the Sea of Japan on Tuesday, with the projectile falling into waters outside Japan's exclusive economic zone, according to the Japanese Defense Ministry. The South Korean military said the projectile might have been a hypersonic weapon.

North Korea launches a new type Hwasong-16 mid-range ballistic missile, powered by solid fuel and carrying a hypersonic warhead, near Pyongyang on April 2, 2024. (KCNA/Kyodo)

Hypersonic missiles are designed to travel at more than five times the speed of sound on irregular and low-altitude trajectories.

Solid-fuel missiles do not need to be filled up with fuel before being launched like liquid-fuel missiles do, making it harder for other countries to detect launch preparations and enhancing their pre-emptive strike and retaliatory capability.

North Korea said in January it had test-fired an intermediate-range ballistic missile carrying a hypersonic warhead, and said last month that it had successfully conducted a grounded test of a solid-fuel jet engine for an intermediate-range hypersonic missile.

During Tuesday's test, the hypersonic warhead reached its first peak at a height of 101.1 kilometers and the second at 72.3 km while making a 1,000-km-long flight as scheduled to accurately hit waters in the Sea of Japan, according to KCNA. The Japanese Defense Ministry had said the missile flew over 650 km.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un observes the test launch of a new mid- to long-range ballistic missile, powered by solid fuel and carrying a hypersonic warhead, near Pyongyang, on April 2, 2024. (Image partially pixelated)(KCNA/Kyodo)

The test-fire had no adverse effect on the security of neighboring countries, the news agency said.

Kim expressed great satisfaction over the test-fire result and said his country has perfected the project for "putting all the tactical, operational and strategic missiles with various ranges on solid-fueled, warhead-controlled and nuclear warhead-carrying basis."

He noted the current "epoch-making success serves as a special event in which a great change will be brought about in enhancing the nuclear war deterrent" of North Korea's armed forces, according to KCNA.

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