North Korean leader Kim Jong Un
North Korean leader Kim Jong UnReuters

North Korea fired a medium range missile in a test on Thursday that failed spectacularly, marking the second such failure in two weeks during tests of the Musudan missile.

A South Korean Defense Ministry official was quoted by CNN as saying the missile, which was fired around 6:10 a.m. local time, "seems to have failed."

While it is unclear at what time the missile exploded, according to the official it "crashed shortly after it was launched."

The failure comes after a similar fiasco on April 15, exactly two weeks ago, when another Musudan missile was fired in honor of the birthday of North Korea's founder, Kim Il-Sung.

In that test, which was tracked by both the US and South Korea, the missile apparently blew up in midair shortly after launch.

Musudan missiles have a range of over 3,000 kilometers (over 1,800 miles), meaning they are capable of hitting US bases located in Guam, in the Pacific Ocean.

North Korea has been showing an increasingly hostile position, working to expand its nuclear arsenal in open defiance of sanctions and condemnation from around the globe, including from its closest ally China.

On Saturday North Korea took a giant step forward with the successful underwater launch of a KN-11 ballistic missile from a submerged submarine. That test comes after a successful nuclear test in January.

Friday's failure precedes by mere days a rare ruling party congress, as the Workers' Party of Korea's Seventh Congress is to take place on May 6. The congress, which is the first since 1980, may offer great developments.

In it, North Korean despot Kim Jong-Un is likely to speak glowingly and at length about the Communist country's nuclear weapon and missile programs.

In recent months Pyongyang has boasted about creating miniaturized nuclear warheads to be mounted on a missile, creating a warhead able to withstand re-entry to earth's atmosphere, and constructing a solid-fuel missile engine.