North Korea has test-fired a newly developed hypersonic missile called Hwasong 8, the latest launch in a series of weapon tests by the reclusive nation.

According to state news media Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), the launch took place in Toyang-ri of Ryongnim County, Jagang Province.

“In the first test-launch, the defence scientists confirmed the flight manoeuvrability and stability of the missile,” the statement said.

The test was supervised by Pak Jong Chon, a member of the Presidium of the Political Bureau and secretary of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea.

The KCNA statement further added that the development of the weapons system was carried out as a top priority and it will help in bolstering the country’s self-defence capabilities.

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By GlobalData

Recently, North Korea has stepped up missile testing renewing concerns about its weapons programme.

Earlier this month, it launched newly developed long-range cruise missiles that hit targets 1,500km away. North Korea also tested ballistic missiles this month.

Hypersonic missiles fly at lower altitudes compared to ballistic weapon systems and can attain more than five times the speed of sound, restricting interception capabilities of adversaries, reported Reuters.

The US also tested its hypersonic system last week.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in the US said that it conducted a free flight test of its Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept (HAWC) in partnership with the US Air Force.

Developed by the Raytheon Missiles & Defense, the system is capable of hitting targets more quickly than subsonic missiles.