back to article North Korea says it's launched a third hypersonic missile, this time reaching Mach 10

North Korean state-sponsored media has said it launched a third hypersonic missile on Tuesday, hitting a target at sea 1,000km (621 miles) away. According to news agency KCNA, President Kim Jong Un attended the test-fire. "Toward daybreak, the Juche weapon representing the power of the DPRK roared to soar into sky, brightening …

  1. Pirate Dave Silver badge


    Mach 10? Well, maybe next time they'll turn it up to 11.

    1. Korev Silver badge

      Re: Sure...

      That'd Mach things much better

    2. tmTM

      Re: Sure...

      Questions (with obvious answers) where they've managed to acquire hypersonic technology from though.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    'North Korea launches 3% of its GDP into the sea'

  3. BOFH in Training

    Interesting that NK has the talent and resources to get something to Mach 10, when I hear it's not an easy feat (all the heating is a huge pain, I understand).

    Just a thought :

    Would it benefit China to get NK to be "it's test lab" by getting NK to test out new toys that China itself created, but does not want to be seen testing? China may have to send "observers" to NK to make sure whatever toys they send to NK to test does not get reverse engineered, just like China itself is doing with US, Russia, Japan, etc. This may end up giving China "hidden capabilities" that are not known to exist in China by the rest of the world.

    In return NK may get some lesser toys or food or hard currency or prestige of having some "cool toys", etc.

    1. Jim Mitchell

      The thting is, North Korea and China don't actually get along. China sees NK as a necessary evil, as a unified Korea on it's border is a worse scenario. It really is not happy about a hard-to-control state with nukes, and now possibly hypersonic non-ballistic delivery devices that can hit most of China, being next door.

      1. Korev Silver badge

        It really is not happy about a hard-to-control state with nukes

        Like the US?

        1. jake Silver badge

          Don't be silly. The NorKs have nowhere near enough nukes to ensure mutual destruction. They only have enough nukes to ensure their own destruction.

          1. Potemkine! Silver badge

            Destroying a couple of cities is enough as deterrent. Would for instance the US accept the risk to see Washington DC and Los Angeles vaporized?

            1. jake Silver badge

              Quite honestly?

              I'd bet a large sum of money that many (perhaps most) American voters would agree to lose LA if it were guaranteed that DC would also be vapo(u)rized, along with all current national politicians, sycophants, hangers-on and lobbyists. Many would also throw in NYC as a freebee.

              Regardless, it'll never happen, for better or for worse.

    2. lglethal Silver badge

      When the borders are closed and to try to leave is to be killed (and China happily sends back anyone trying to leave through their border, in order to be shot in NK). People in NK have to make the most of what they can in NK.

      If someone has a modicium of Talent, then they have the choice of working for the regime or starving to death working some frozen field. So they go to work for the regime.

      If you work for the regime, you get to live in a bit of comfort (compared to those starving to death in the frozen fields), but if you fail in your appointed task you will be shot. That provides a significant motivation to work really hard and find solutions.

      If you're working for the regime's weapons programs, then you have the best comfort, the best funding the regime can provide, and the absolute knowledge that if you fail, you, and likely all of your family, will pay the consequences.

      Based on just that level of motivation, NK dont really need China's help for any of this stuff. Maybe for some specific materials, training and hardware, but most of it they can do themselves.

      If the rest of the world, wanted to really see the Kim Regime fall (so basically everyone other than China), then the best thing they could do would be to work out a way to create a relatively safe and porous border across and out of NK. The first people across it would be those that make up the scientific and engineering brains of the regime...

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        "If the rest of the world, wanted to really see the Kim Regime fall (so basically everyone other than China), then the best thing they could do would be to work out a way to create a relatively safe and porous border across and out of NK."

        An interesting concept. Sadly, they have a pretty solid and almost impassable border with South Korea, who would be ultra suspicious of anyone coming over anyway, a huge border with China who, as you say, have no interest in this and will send "illegal immigrants" back, and a short land border with Russia. I doubt Putin has any interest in the idea either. Which only leaves the existing sea borders, and that doesn't seem to be an option as few if any are trying to get out that way either.

    3. Skiron

      Interesting that NK has the talent and resources to get something to Mach 10

      So they say... they also haven't had any Covid-19 cases, either.

      1. Clausewitz 4.0

        This test was observed by foreigners, no way to fabricate results

  4. ravenviz Silver badge

    “How’s your Korean 007?”

    1. Eclectic Man Silver badge

      Fine, actually:

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  5. Phones Sheridan Silver badge

    Flying through atmosphere?

    Is this Mach 10 flying through the atmosphere, or through space effectively? If it's the latter how much did that drop to once it entered the atmosphere?

    1. imanidiot Silver badge

      Re: Flying through atmosphere?

      Depends on who you ask. 60km is below the von Karman line, so by most definitions not space, but the FAA acknowledges (or atleast until recently acknowledged) anyone passing 60km as astronauts.

  6. jake Silver badge

    "a 240km corkscrew"?

    I made rockets like that as a kid ... methinks the control surfaces became a trifle singed.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: "a 240km corkscrew"?

      Yeah, I did wonder about that and if it was intentional or just covering up something going wrong as "well, it's to elude interceptors and disguise the real destination/target.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    We have billions in space based spy hardware and none of it caught a Mach 10 missile with a heat signature exceeding that of the entire Kardashian clan?

    Something's not right here.

    1. ClockworkOwl

      Re: Why?

      Given it was an observed and semi open test, even if there were secret eyes on the test there would be no publication, it's secret!

      If you start publishing secret spy stuff, everybody knows what you're looking at and how...

    2. IGotOut Silver badge

      Re: Why?

      I'm pretty sure it was monitored and those that need to know, know.

      The issue wasn't the missile, it was the intergalactic planet destroyer it bounced off that they are really trying to cover up.

  8. We're all in it together

    How do you visualise Mach 10?

    All this posturing around the world about hypersonic missiles - Thunderbirds 1 and 3 were flying at these speeds in the late 60's.

    They even got Thunderbird 2 to fly - how it ever did with its stubby wings I'll never know.

    1. My-Handle

      Re: How do you visualise Mach 10?

      "They even got Thunderbird 2 to fly..."

      It's all held together with string.

    2. The Basis of everything is...

      Re: How do you visualise Mach 10?

      With a big enough engine you can make anything fly

    3. John Jennings

      Re: How do you visualise Mach 10?

      Lifting body VTOL - simples

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