South Korea Skeptical of North Korea’s Submarine-Launched Missile Test Claims

SEOUL — The South Korean military expressed doubts on Monday regarding the authenticity of North Korea's recent claim of a successful submarine-launched cruise missile test, labeling the assertions as potentially "exaggerated." This skepticism follows a detailed examination in partnership with the United States of the launch, which North Korea reported took place near the eastern port city of Sinpo, a known site for submarine construction.

According to Yonhap News Agency, the launch of several cruise missiles was detected on Sunday morning, but the claims made by North Korea's state media about the missile, named "Pulhwasal-3-31," including its flight time of over 7,400 seconds for two missiles, are being scrutinized. "Further details are being analyzed by the intelligence authorities of South Korea and the United States," JCS spokesperson Lee Sung-jun stated during a regular briefing, highlighting the ongoing efforts to verify the North's claims.

The recent announcement by North Korea regarding the Pulhwasal-3-31 missile test, which supposedly occurred just days after its first mention of testing the same missile, has raised questions among South Korean officials. The JCS spokesperson noted the technological leap required to launch an identical missile from a varied platform in such a short timeframe, underscoring the complexities involved in substantiating North Korea's military capabilities and technological advancements.

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