North Korea’s Failed Missile Test Involved A Solid State Hypersonic Missile

North Korea tested a solid fuel state hypersonic Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile (IRBM) on June 25th. The launch is the third time that North Korea has tested the missile, with the last tests occurring in January and April.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff issued a statement saying the missile failed because of a “problem with combustion” based on the large amount of white smoke seen during the test.

The white smoke is likely due to North Korea improperly mixing alane, an improved aluminum powder, with the solid propellant to increase the missile’s thrust. The inclusion of alane in the missile’s solid propellant indicates that Russia transferred the technology to North Korea.