Photo showing North Korean leader Kim Jong-un at the scene of the alleged missile launch on May 9, 2015.
May 20, 2015 7:24 AM EDT

Photos showing a North Korean missile launched from a submarine were manipulated by state propagandists, a top U.S. military official said on Tuesday.

North Korea, heavily sanctioned by the United States and United Nations for its missile and nuclear tests, said on May 9 it had successfully conducted an underwater test-fire of a submarine-launched ballistic missile. If true, it would indicate progress in its pursuit of building missile-equipped submarines.

MORE: This is how North Korea’s Government Wants You To See Kim Jong Un

On Wednesday, the North warned Washington not to challenge its sovereign right to boost military deterrence and boasted of its ability to miniaturize nuclear warheads, a claim it has made before and which has been widely questioned by experts and never verified…

Read the rest of the story from our partners at NBC News

Contact us at

Read More From TIME

Related Stories