North Korea’s terrifying photo of hypersonic missile after successful launch

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North Korea have released brand new photographs of a hypersonic missile they fired into the sea on Wednesday in their latest controversial weapons test.

The test early Wednesday morning was the rogue nation's first since September, and comes only days after Kim Jong-un warned the international community that he would strengthen his nation's defence in 2022.

The South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Japanese Coast Guard both reported that the launch came from the Supreme Leader's rogue nation, although he was not present at the launch.

In the image, released Thursday night, a huge plume of fire and smoke can be seen emerging from the base of the missile as it begins the launch.

State news agency KNCA claimed that the rocket reached speeds of 700km, although nuclear policy expert Ankit Panda said on Twitter said that its specifications led him to believe it would not have passed 500km.

However Mr Panda suggested that the hypersonic missile launch had gone better than previous ones in September, writing: "We’d need independent, detailed data to assess how effective these missiles actually are, but taking the two North Korean statements about the Hwasong-8 and this missile at face value, this test appears to have gone better than the Sept. 2021 Hwasong-8 test.

He added that the missile had previously been shown off by the rogue state at a self-defence expo event in October 2021.

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