Did North Korea ‘fake’ missile launch?

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South Korean and US officials had earlier said that the March 24 launch appeared to be the Hwasong-15 ICBM. Kim’s regime had first test-fired the Hwasong-15 in 2017 as it introduced a moratorium on ICBM testing.

The missile repeatedly flew for 67.5 minutes to a range of 1,090 km at an altitude of 6,248.5 km. South Korea reportedly said North Korea may have modified the Hwasong-15 missile.

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US officials said North Korea may have “more in store” as far as missile launches are concerned. Multiple warheads allow a missile to evade missile defence systems. However, the US condemned the launch at the UN Security Council raising “destabilizing” risks.

It is North Korea’s largest largest-ever intercontinental ballistic missile launch. In retaliation, South Korea fired a string of missiles in the Sea of Japan.

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Japan said North Korea’s new missile appeared to fly 71 minutes and landed in its territorial waters.

(With inputs from Agencies)