North Korea nuclear program
North Korea nuclear program iStock

South Korea said on Wednesday (local time) that North Korea fired an unidentified projectile but the launch apparently ended in a failure, The Associated Press reported.

The launch was made from the Pyongyang region around 9:30 a.m. before the apparent failure, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement.

The statement added that South Korean and US intelligence authorities were analyzing details of the launch.

North Korea has conducted several tests of reconnaissance satellite systems in recent weeks, most recently at the beginning of this month.

A senior US official said last week that two recent missile tests conducted by North Korea were of a new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) system.

The official added that those tests marked a "serious escalation" by Pyongyang that will be punished with fresh sanctions.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had claimed that the purpose of the reconnaissance satellite is to provide real-time information on military actions by the United States and its allies.

The latest tests add to tensions between the US and North Korea which have resumed since the Biden administration took office.

Former US President Donald Trump tried to reach an agreement with North Korea while in office. Kim and Trump met in Hanoi in 2019 for a summit that left nuclear talks at a standstill.

The pair had met three times since June 2018 but made little progress towards denuclearization.

The Biden administration reached out to North Korea shortly after taking office, but the country did not respond to those overtures.

In Biden’s first policy speech to Congress, he said nuclear programs in North Korea and Iran posed threats that would be addressed through “diplomacy and stern deterrence”.

Responding to that speech, North Korea dismissed the idea of talks with Washington, saying Biden’s speech was “intolerable” and “a big blunder."