SEOUL, July 11 (Yonhap) -- North Korea has yet to fully secure the development of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) as it remains unknown whether the country's recently fired ballistic missile successfully re-entered the atmosphere, lawmakers said Tuesday quoting the spy agency.
On July 4, North Korea fired a ballistic missile called Hwasong-14 which reached an altitude of 2,802 kilometers and flew 933 km for 39 minutes. The North touted it as the country's first successful ICBM launch.
But South Korea's National Intelligence Service (NIS) concluded that the latest missile still lacked re-entry technology although it flew as far as an ICBM does, Rep. Yi Wan-young of the Liberty Korea Party and Rep. Kim Byung-kee of the ruling Democratic Party said following the spy agency's parliamentary report on the July 4 launch.
"Although North Korea claimed that (the missile's) heat resistance was verified, whether it re-entered (the atmosphere safely) was not confirmed and the country has no relevant test facility, making it look like it has not secured the technology," the NIS was quoted as reporting to the parliamentary intelligence committee.
North Korea may have not attained the technology to guide a warhead precisely to a target either -- another key ICBM technology -- given that the re-entry technique normally needs to be secured before that, according to the lawmakers.
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