North Korea Conducts Second Failed Missile Attempt


 

North Korea has carried out an unsuccessful launch of an intermediate-range missile, according to both the US and South Korean military.

This is the second failed test in less than a week after the North’s recent launch of a Musudan missile.

The missile has been tested eight times this year, despite being banned by the United Nations from any use of nuclear or ballistic technology. Most have failed but one has gone at least 1,000km. However, experts fear it could become operational as early as next year.

Pyongyang’s last test was denounced by the UN, which has banned it from any use of ballistic or nuclear technology.

The US condemned this launch, calling it a “particular and further provocation.”

The test allegedly took place near the north-western city of Kusong, the Pentagon said in a statement.

It comes amid concerns that North Korea may soon launch another long-range rocket or conduct a nuclear test.

The Musudan missile has an estimated range of up to 4,000km—enough to reach Japan, the South and the US territory of Guam.

Gary Ross, the US Navy Commander, stated the missile launch “did not pose a threat to North America,” as the missile was believed to have exploded soon after its launch. In contrast, the South confirmed the attempted launch, and said in a statement that it strongly condemned the aggressive rhetoric such actions carry.

According to the BBC’s Stephen Evans, tension is high at the moment because US and South Korean troops are exercising together. The biggest US aircraft carrier is also currently docked in South Korea.

The Yonhap news agency reported the exercises involve practising the specific targeting of North Korea’s nuclear facilities and leadership with so-called bunker-busting bombs.

Pyongyang insists its space program is for peaceful purposes, however the US, the South and even China say the recent launches are aimed at developing inter-continental ballistic missiles with offensive intent.