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North Korea airs footage of sub-launched missile

South Korea has said the SLBM traveled only 19 miles.

By Elizabeth Shim
North Korea airs footage of sub-launched missile
North Korea’s Kim Jong Un watches the launch of a sub-launched missile on April 23. The footage aired on June 1. Image screenshot of KCTV

SEOUL, June 1 (UPI) -- A submarine-launched ballistic missile North Korea fired on April 23 was featured in footage that aired for the first time on Wednesday.

The video was shown on KCTV and was titled, "Unfurl the most golden years of the revolution." It shows a sub-launched missile shooting vertically up from the sea, Yonhap reported.

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The South Korea military had stated in April that the SLBM traveled about 19 miles after being ejected from a 2,000-ton Sinpo-class submarine.

The missile had fallen well short of its minimum range of almost 190 miles, and the launch was a failure, according to Seoul.

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But Pyongyang celebrated the launch as a success, and included images of Kim Jong Un stationed at the beach, watching the SLBM launch. The footage included North Korean soldiers praising Kim after the visit.

At the time of the launch in April, North Korea had issued a statement in the Rodong Sinmun, the Workers' Party newspaper, calling the missile firing "yet another blinding success."

There are doubts North Korea has fully developed the technology to design better missiles.

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Russian military analyst Vladimir Yevseyev of the Moscow-based CIS Institute has said Pyongyang has yet to acquire all of the skills needed to make indigenous SLBMs. The current rockets are based on Russian models from the '90s, the analyst had said.

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The SLBM that flew on April 23 could have broken into 2-3 pieces in mid-air before a first-stage separation, according to the South Korean military.

The footage aired at a critical time, when North Korean Workers' Party vice chairman Ri Su Yong is meeting with top Chinese officials, including President Xi Jinping.

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Ri told Chinese official Song Tao on Tuesday the North has no intention of giving up its nuclear weapons.

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