Home Asia North Korean Missile Spiralled Abnormally Before Exploding: South Korea

North Korean Missile Spiralled Abnormally Before Exploding: South Korea

North Korean missile
This photo provided by the North Korean government shows the test-fire of what they call an intermediate-range ballistic missile on the outskirts of Pyongyang on April 2 (Photo: AP)

South Korea’s military on Friday released a video that it said showed a North Korean missile abnormally spiralling early in flight and exploding, a rare publicising of surveillance footage to dismiss the North’s claim of a successful test.

Footage filmed by a thermal observation device with South Korean frontline units showed a projectile spiralling out of control on a irregular flight path, then disintegrating.

The South Korean military assessed that “instability during flight” led to the missile’s explosion, it said in a statement on Friday, calling North Korea’s claims of success as “deception and exaggeration to cover up the failure”.

North Korean state media had said that Pyongyang successfully conducted an important test on Wednesday aimed at developing missiles able to deploy multiple warheads, a claim rejected by South Korea.

North Korea’s missile administration used the first-stage engine of a solid-fuel intermediate-range ballistic missile to test separation and guidance of multiple warheads, according to the North’s official KCNA news agency.

South Korea’s military said it had detected signs of missile launch preparations early on Wednesday and was watching as the rocket was launched.

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In April, Pyongyang said it had tested a new solid-fuel hypersonic missile with intermediate range, part of an intensifying race for the next generation of long-range rockets hard to track and intercept.

The million dollar question the West is asking is what kind of weapons and technology could the Russians supply Pyongyang since President Putin’s visit there earlier this month.  The Moscow-Pyongyang bilateral relationship is seeing a major upgrade given Putin’s remarks that arming North Korea mirrors the West arming Ukraine.

The West has warned that Russia by supplying arms to the North risks destabilising the Korean peninsula and could even be in violation of UN Security Council resolutions that Moscow has backed.

The US believes the North is keen to beef up its antiquated air force with more modern fighter jets. Russia could also provide surface-to-air missiles, armoured vehicles and ballistic missile production equipment.

With Reuters inputs