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SEOUL, Jan. 9 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's military said Saturday the latest video of a new submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) test released by the North earlier this week may have been manipulated.
"It is believed that North Korea's SLBM ejection test video has been edited with images from a Scud missile ejection film made in the past," a military official said, adding that the intention was to make the test seem successful.
"In May last year, the North's SLBM video showed a launch angle of 74 degrees. As the latest video showed an angle of 90 degrees, it is possible that North Korea's technology has improved to some extent," the official added. North Korea also claimed then it had successfully carried out an underwater SLBM test.
A new documentary aired by the state-run (North) Korean Central Broadcasting Station on Friday featured leader Kim Jong-un giving field guidance during an SLBM ejection test the country is reported to have conducted on Dec. 21 in the East Sea.
In the video, a missile shoots off from a submarine at almost a completely vertical angle and ignites with a boom some 40 meters above the surface of the water before disappearing into the clouds.
The military, however, said there is still the possibility that Pyongyang will utilize the SLBM in three to four years. In May last year, the military had estimated the period to be four to five years.
Experts said the North's SLBM capability, if fully developed, would pose a serious threat because its mobile nature would make it very difficult to detect preparations for a launch.
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