North Korea’s Newest Test of Monster Missile Accused of Fake Propaganda PHOTO/Reuters
South Korea said the last successful test by North Korea may have been the same intercontinental ballistic missile Pyongyang fired in 2017. Last week, North Korea claimed it had successfully tested a Hwasong-17 missile – a long-range ICBM.
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But South Korea’s defense ministry told AFP that Seoul and Washington had now concluded that the launch was actually from the Hwasong-15, an ICBM that Pyongyang tested in 2017.
“United States (US) and South Korean intelligence have determined that what was fired on March 24 was Hwasong-15,” a South Korean Defense Ministry official told AFP.
According to analysts, the missile is likely capable of carrying multiple warheads – the first being launched at a military parade in 2020. The two ICBMs, the Hwasong-15 and Hwasong-17, are potentially capable of hitting the US mainland.
Previously, Seoul and Tokyo separately confirmed at the time that the missile tested on March 24 had flown higher and longer than previous tests. But analysts later pointed to differences in North Korea’s accounts.
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The false announcement was likely an attempt by Pyongyang to compensate for the failed launch on March 16, when a missile, which analysts say was actually a Hwasong-17, exploded shortly after launch.
According to Seoul-based specialist website NK News, debris from the failed test fell in or near Pyongyang as a ball of red smoke zigzagging across the sky.