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S. Korea, U.S. conclude N. Korea's latest ICBM test involved 'Hwasong-15': Sources Updated: 2022-03-29 08:02:01 KST

Following North Korea's latest launch last Thursday, the regime had claimed it had successfully tested its new ICBM, the Hwasong-17.
But, South Korea and the U.S. have reportedly concluded that North Korea's latest missile actually involved its existing ICBM, the Hwasong-15.
According to multiple government sources, joint analysis by Seoul and Washington showed the latest missile had two engine nozzles, just like the Hwasong-15 the North had tested back in 2017.
But the Hwasong-17, that was first displayed at a military parade in October 2020, is supposed to have four nozzles.
The analysis also showed the engine combustion time of the first-stage rocket was similar to that of the Hwasong-15.
So, this means the Hwasong-15 fired last Thursday was disguised to look like the newer and larger Hwasong-17.
South Korea's military reportedly believes the video of the launch, released by the regime was a patchwork of earlier footage from the previous tests of Hwasong-17.
The North may have included footage from the one taken about two weeks ago, when it launched the Hwasong-17, but failed as it exploded right after lift off.
Seoul's military has not yet officially confirmed that it is in fact a Hwasong-17, but said it is conducting detailed analysis with a "variety of possibilities" in mind.
Meanwhile, North Korea also appears to be preparing for a nuclear test, as there were signs of the regime digging a shortcut near Tunnel 3 at its Punggye-ri nuclear test site, dismantled four years ago.
According to sources, the North abruptly stopped its initial construction work to restore the entrance to Tunnel 3.
Instead, it was seen digging up the side of the tunnel.
Some speculate that the North may even be able to resume nuclear tests, as early as next month.
Seoul's defense ministry also said it has detected signs of the regime repairing a tunnel at its nuclear test site.

"Recently, unidentified activities were detected at Punggye-ri nuclear test site that appear to be restoring part of the tunnel. South Korea and the U.S. are closely monitoring the situation together."

Punggye-ri is the North's main nuclear facility.
There, the regime conducted six nuclear tests from 2006 to 2017.
In 2018, the North blew up part of the facility, after leader Kim Jong-un promised to halt all nuclear tests.
Bae Eun-ji, Arirang News.
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