The South Korean military on Friday released a video that purportedly shows a North Korean missile spiralling erratically in its early flight phase before exploding. The rare release of surveillance footage was intended to refute North Korea‘s claim of a successful test.
The footage, captured by a thermal observation device used by South Korean frontline units, depicted a projectile spiralling out of control on an irregular flight path before disintegrating.
According to a statement released by the South Korean military, the missile’s explosion was caused by “instability during flight.”
The military accused North Korea of “deception and exaggeration to cover up the failure,” rejecting the North’s claims of success.
North Korean state media had previously reported that Pyongyang had successfully conducted an important test on Wednesday aimed at developing missiles capable of deploying multiple warheads. However, South Korea disputed this claim.
KCNA, North Korea’s official news agency, said that the missile administration used the first-stage engine of a solid-fuel intermediate-range ballistic missile to test the separation and guidance of multiple warheads.
The South Korean military said it had detected signs of missile launch preparations early on Wednesday and was monitoring the situation when the rocket was launched.
In April, Pyongyang claimed to have tested a new solid-fuel hypersonic missile with intermediate range, which is part of an intensifying race to develop the next generation of long-range rockets that are difficult to track and intercept.