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North Korea not telling the whole truth about latest ICBM test, South Korean official says

South Korean and American officials believe that North Korea’s launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) may have been a less advanced weapon than previously thought. North Korea claimed to have launched a new Hwasong-17 ICBM, however, it may have actually been the older and slightly smaller model, the Hwasong-15. This model was tested in Pyongyang in 2017. Several missile experts have reportedly reached similar conclusion, yet still express caution over the significance of last week’s successful ICBM launch. It was North Korea’s first ICBM launch in more than four years and therefore should not be discounted, say officials.

The ICBM fired by North Korea last Thursday reached an altitude of 6,000 kilometers and traveled a distance of 1,080 kilometers. The missile was in the air for 71 minutes before crashing in waters off of Japan’s western coast. One significant clue leading officials to believe that the missile was actually the Hwasong-15 is that the missile launched last week only had two engine nozzles, but the Hwasong-17 has four.

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