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Kim Jong-un Accused Of Faking Launch Of North Korea’s New ‘Monster Missile’
Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Kim Jong-un Accused Of Faking Launch Of North Korea’s New ‘Monster Missile’

South Korea accuses Kim-Jong un of faking missile launch.

South Korea has suggested that the 24 March launch of North Korea's latest missile was faked.

It has been concluded by South Korean and US officials that the missile used in the launch wasn't actually a massive Hwasong-17 ICBM, but was instead a smaller Hwasong-15 ICBM, a defence ministry official has said.

The accusation comes after Kim Jong-un featured in a Top-Gun style video last week, that claimed to show the ground-breaking intercontinental ballistic missile test.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un next to missiles,
Alamy

However, since the footage was released, discrepancies in the video and photos relating to the launch that were released by North Korea have been pointed out, throwing into question whether or not the launch was faked.

The photos show Jong-un in a leather jacket and sunglasses as he walks next to what state media are calling the Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile.

Open-source analysts from have pointed out that discrepancies in the shadows, weather and other factors in the video and photos suggest that the footage was from an earlier test.

It was speculated that this could have been from a failed launch on 16 March.

Missile launch,
Alamy

In a report obtained by Reuters, the defence ministry said of the footage: "The choice of the Hwasong-15, which is more reliable with the successful test in 2017, could be intended to block rumours and ensure regime stability by delivering a message of success within the shortest time possible, after residents of Pyongyang witnessed the failure of the March 16 liftoff."

The report also speculated that the test may have been an attempt to boost North Korea's status as a military resource and improve its prospects of bargaining with the international community.

North Korea has not acknowledged the launch on 16 March or it's failure, but debris was said to have fallen over Pyongyang.

It is believed that this failed test prompted North Korea to tell a 'big lie' and claim that the 24 March launch was off the Hwasong-17 rather than the Hwasong-15 to improve domestic opinion.

Data from the claimed launch of the Hwasong-17 on 24 March appears to be similar to that reported by South Korean and Japan of the Hwasong-15.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un overseeing missile launch,
Alamy

While officials from South Korea and the US said that tests on 27 February and 5 March involved the Hwasong-17 system, which was suggested to be in preparation for the later full launch.

With the missile's characteristics, including acceleration, combustion and stage seperation times, said to be similar to the smaller missile.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said that Washington is to still analysing the footage, with former U.S government official Vann Van Diepen saying: "If March 16 was a Hwasong-17 failure and March 24 was a Hwasong-15, it obviously shows the Hwasong-17 still has teething problems."

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Topics: North Korea, Kim Jong-un, World News