North Korea launches failed ballistic missile test

North Korea tries and fails with a fresh ballistic missile launch.

Ben Ariel ,

North Korea flag
North Korea flag

North Korea on Tuesday appeared to have tried and failed with a fresh ballistic missile launch in violation of existing United Nations resolutions, South Korea’s defense ministry said, according to AFP.

The defense ministry in Seoul said the missile test took place at around 5:20 a.m. local time (2020 GMT Monday) near the eastern port city of Wonsan.

“The attempted missile launch ... is believed to have failed,” a ministry spokesman quoted by AFP said.

“We are analyzing and closely monitoring the situation and maintaining a watertight defense posture,” he added.

The ministry declined to speculate on the type of missile, but the South’s Yonhap news agency quoted military sources saying it was understood to be a medium-range Musudan missile.

In April, the North failed three times to test-fire a Musudan, which has an estimated range of anywhere between 2,500 and 4,000km.

North Korea has continued to test fire missiles despite UN measures which ban it from any use of ballistic missile technology.

North Korea's ruling party congress recently formally adopted leader Kim Jong-Un's policy of developing the country's nuclear arsenal in tandem with the economy.

In a speech before the congress, Kim adopted a soft tone on his country’s nuclear program, saying the country would only use nuclear weapons if attacked by a nuclear power, adding he wanted improved relations with previously "hostile" nations.

According to AFP, the Musudan covers the whole of South Korea and Japan, while the upper range would include US military bases on Guam.

The missile has never been successfully flight-tested, noted the report.