North Korea says it tested “most powerful” missile to date

North Korea says it tested a new solid-fuel intercontinental ballistic missile – its “most powerful” missile to date, the BBC reports.

State media hailed Thursday’s launch, which led to a brief evacuation order in Japan, a “miraculous success”.

Solid-fuel missiles can be fired more quickly than liquid-fuel ones, making them harder to intercept. But analysts say they are not without downsides.

South Korea maintains that the North will need more time to develop a fully operational solid-fuel ICBM.

This is the first time the North has test-fired a solid-fuel ICBM after years of testing solid-fuel short-range missiles. It has tested various ICBMs, but these were powered by liquid propellants, which must be fuelled directly ahead of launch – a process that can take hours.

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