NewsNorth Korea claims missile success as Seoul cries foul

North Korea claims missile success as Seoul cries foul

North Korea boasted a successful missile test. South Korea denies it.
North Korea boasted a successful missile test. South Korea denies it.
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Paulina Antoniak

29 June 2024 09:24

North Korea announced that it conducted a successful test of intermediate-range ballistic missiles carrying multiple warheads, which are guided to separate targets. In response, Seoul stated that Pyongyang's statement is "a deception to cover up a failure."

During Wednesday's test, the military "successfully conducted the separation and guidance control test of individual manoeuvring warheads," reported the regime's KCNA news agency. The dispatch added that "the separated manoeuvrable warheads were correctly guided to three coordinated targets."

"The test aims to confirm MIRV capability," which is a ballistic missile system that carries multiple warheads and then places each of them on a ballistic course leading to separate targets.

In a statement, KCNA quoted military officials who noted that strengthening "MIRV capability is a very important technological task in the field of defence and the top priority of the Central Committee" of the army, implying that it could also be the highest priority for North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

South Korea denies Pyongyang's claims of a successful test

On Friday, 28th June, the South Korean military released footage that, according to the military, shows a North Korean missile spinning abnormally at the start of its flight and then exploding. The film is intended to refute Pyongyang's claims of a successful test.

According to Reuters, footage shot by a thermal imaging device involving South Korean military units shows a missile moving on an irregular flight path, getting out of control, and then breaking apart.

In a Friday statement, the South Korean military assessed that "instability during flight" led to the missile's explosion, calling North Korea's claims of success "a deception to cover up failure."

In April, Pyongyang reported testing a new solid-fuel hypersonic medium-range missile. This test intensifies the arms race for the next generation of long-range missiles, which are challenging to trace and intercept.

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