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Sunday, July 3, 2022

North Korea claims to be testing hypersonic weapons. Here’s what you need to know

If the claims made in North Korea state media are true, and at some point the country is able to deploy a hypersonic weapon, it could have profound implications for the security situation in Asia.

“A hypersonic missile that can defeat advanced missile-defense systems is a game changer if a nuclear warhead is mated to it,” Drew Thompson, a former United States Defense Department official and a visiting senior research fellow at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore, said after the September test. But he cautioned, “that’s a huge if. Having it and wanting it are not the same thing.”

And after Wednesday’s test, Cheong Seong-chang, director of the Center for North Korean Studies at the Sejong Institute, a private South Korean think tank, said more time and refinements will be needed before Pyongyang could field a hypersonic weapon.

“North Korea…

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