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South Korea Disputes North's Claim of Long-Range Missile Test

  • VOA News

The Hwasong-14, which North Korea claims in an intercontinental ballistic missile, is seen in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency in Pyongyang July 5, 2017.

South Korea's intelligence agency is casting doubt on North Korea's boasts that it carried out a test launch of its first intercontinental ballistic missile, or ICBM, according to a South Korean lawmaker.

The North said it launched the Hwasong-14 last Tuesday from a mobile launcher from an airport near its border with China, complete with a re-entry vehicle that would allow it to be equipped with a nuclear warhead. U.S. military experts estimated the missile had a range of 5,500 kilometers, putting parts of the northwestern United States at risk of a nuclear attack.

But South Korean Representative Yi Wan-young, a member of the parliament's intelligence committee, told reporters the National Intelligence Service has not been able to confirm that Pyongyang has developed the technology to build an ICBM, given that it does not have any facilities to test re-entry procedures.

Yi also said the agency had not detected any unusual activity at North Korea's Punggye-ri nuclear test site.

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