North Korea Draws Skepticism After Recent Missile Claim

North Korea Boasts About Missile Launch, Drawing Scrutiny

( – North Korea has allegedly increased the number of missiles it has test-launched over the past few years. Many believe dictator Kim Jong-un is posturing, with a small chance his country actually intends to escalate matters with its neighbor to the south. The totalitarian nation recently said it conducted another test with a missile capable of carrying “a super-large warhead,” but critics have been skeptical of the claims.

North Korean state media advanced the claim that the country launched a Hwasongpho-11 Da-4.5 missile, capable of holding a 4.5-ton warhead, on Tuesday, July 2. Scientists reportedly designed the test to measure strike accuracy at minimum (55 miles) and maximum (310 miles) ranges and verify the missile’s flight stability. However, the statement didn’t include any publicity photos, a common feature with a successful launch. It also failed to disclose the missile’s launched point or where it landed.

Asan Institute for Policy Studies analyst Yang Uk said if North Korea had truly succeeded in its efforts to hit a ground target, the nation would’ve bragged about it with pictures, much like it has done in the past. He added that the dictatorship covets the ability to destroy underground bunkers and the like, hoping to use the capability to intimidate enemies and coerce them.

South Korean officials quickly pushed back on the claim of a successful launch. They said it likely failed, but Kim Jong-un’s regime fabricated the tale to hide the fact, noting that the weapon fell near North Korea’s capital city of Pyongyang. Since there was no debris, it didn’t explode.

Instead, the South Korean military surmised that it likely traveled abnormally. Lee Sung Jon, the Joint Chiefs of Staff spokesperson, said the military was “weighing a possibility of deception.”

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