AMID global concerns about North Korea’s threats of nuclear war, China has unveiled a next-generation nuclear weapon that is said to be able to strike “anywhere in the world”.
The nuclear warhead, called the Dongfeng-41, will be capable of reaching distances of at least 12,000km — putting the US well into the line of target. With a speed of up to Mach 10 (around 12,000kph), it can carry up to 10 nuclear warheads.
The ballistic missile is said to be about 15 metres long, 2 metres in diameter and weighs approximately 30,000 kilograms.
The weapon, which according to Chinese media will be able to hit targets “anywhere in the world”, is scheduled to enter China’s arsenal in 2018.
“It can carry up to 10 nuclear warheads, each of which can target separately,” Missile expert Xu Guangyu, a senior adviser of the China Arms Control and Disarmament Association told China Central Television, reports Newsweek.com.
“Once the Dongfeng-41 goes into service, China’s ability to protect its own safety and to prevent wars would greatly increase.”
The missile will also be able to use decoy devices to make its way through other defence systems.
Military analyst Song Zhongping, a former member of the People’s Liberation Army Rocket Force, believes it’s possible the Dongfeng-41 is already in service, as tests can be conducted after the weapon has been commissioned.
The Global Times reported that China, which claims to have an arsenal of up to 2500 missiles, “does not have an arms race agenda and will not compete with any country for any such purpose”.
During his visit to China earlier this month, US President Donald Trump told Chinese President Xi Jinping that time was “running out” to solve the nuclear crisis with North Korea. The US wants China, which makes up the majority of North Korea’s foreign trade, to put more economic pressure on the regime.
Originally published as China unveils hypersonic nuke