North Korea Faked ICBM Missile Launch, Says South Korea

North Korea faked the launch of its so-called “monster” missile, said South Korea’s intelligence agency.

State media reported a successful launch of the Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile on March 24, but analysts had identified discrepancies in the accounts.

According to NK News, North Korea launched the Hwasong-15 test and not the Hwasong-17 test as North Korea claimed. The Hwasong-15 test was launched on March 16, but the missile exploded from a low enough height that may have caused damages to private homes.

National Assembly lawmaker Ha Tae Keung said that the Hwasong-15 failed launch caused Pyongyang to report a lie. Ha said that the misrepresented nature of the missile test was reported to calm public sentiments.

Analysts said the false report served as a propaganda ahead of the country’s celebration of the Day of the Sun, Kim Il Sung’s birth anniversary.

“North Korea wanted to shore up citizens’ loyalty ahead of the Day of the Sun by branding Kim Jong Un a capable leader of a military powerhouse,” analyst Yang Moo Jin said.

Hong Min of the Korea Institute for National Unification said that Pyongyang reported the fake missile launch to show achievements under Kim Jong Un’s watch.

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