Footage of a North Korean submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) test released by Pyongyang two days after it announced it had conducted the country’s fourth nuclear test last week was faked, according to an analysis by a California-based think tank.
In defiance of a U.N. ban, the isolated country has said it has ballistic missile technology which would allow it to launch a nuclear warhead from a submarine, although experts and analysis of North Korean state media cast doubt on the claim.
North Korean state television aired footage on Friday of the latest test, said to have taken place in December. Unlike a previous SLBM test in May, it had not been announced at the time.
“The rocket ejected, began to light, and then failed catastrophically,” said Melissa Hanham, a senior research associate at the California-based Middlebury Institute’s James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS).
South Korea’s military said on Saturday North Korea appeared to have modified the video and edited it with Scud missile footage from 2014 although an official told Reuters that the ejection technology might have improved since the May test.