A North Korean ballistic missile crashed and hit the urban city of Tokchon, roughly two hours from Pyongyang, after it failed just minutes following its launch.
US officials said “the Hwasong-12 intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) was initially thought to have disintegrated mid-flight after it was fired on 28 April last year.”
According to a U.S. government official, who spoke with a source in The DIPLOMAT, with knowledge of North Korea’s weapons programs who spoke to The Diplomat, “the missile’s first stage engines failed after approximately one minute of powered flight, resulting in catastrophic failure. The missile never flew higher than approximately 70 kilometers.”
The missile likely exploded on impact, causing significant damage to a complex, located near residential and commercial buildings, the complex likely experienced a large explosion but The DIPLOMAT said it was impossible to determine whether there were casualties.
U.S Officials point out the danger of another North Korean missile test failing at the wrong time. If the missile fell towards Japan, its trajectory may resemble an attack.
Japan’s Prime Minister vowed to bolster the country’s defences and protect the Japanese people.
“It is not an exaggeration to say that the security environment surrounding Japan is at its severest since World War Two,”
By raising pressure on North Korea, together with the international community, I intend to do my utmost to solve North Korea’s nuclear, missiles and abduction issues.” The Prime Minister stated
Military officials told NBC News “A ballistic missile launch was possible, if not likely, in the coming days”, . 1 added “a possible launch could happen mid-week”