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North Korea launches missile but attempt ends in failure

Posted by Conspiracy Cafe on April 15, 2017 at 9:50 PM

Tom Phillips in Beijing and agencies Sunday 16 April 2017 02.39 BST

North Korea’s missile launch comes just a day after a huge military parade in Pyongyang to mark the birth anniversary of founder Kim Il-sung. AFP/Getty Images

North Korea has defied Donald Trump’s demands for it to abandon its nuclear and missile programs, launching a missile from an eastern port city on Sunday morning.

However, the test appeared to fail. “The missile blew up almost immediately,” the United States Pacific Command said in a statement. “The type of missile is still being assessed.” Reuters reported one US official as saying it was confident the failed projectile was not an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

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The attempt came hours before US vice-president Mike Pence was due to arrive in Seoul at the start of a 10-day trip to Asia in what his aides said was a sign of the US commitment to its ally in the face of rising tension over North Korea. Both Pence and President Donald Trump have been notified. The president had no further comment, said defence secretary Jim Mattis.

The missile was launched from the eastern coastal city of Sinpo, which is the site of a submarine base and where the North has tested the submarine-launched ballistic missile it is developing. Weapons on submarines are much harder to track and destroy, and would make it far more challenging for the US and its allies to mount a pre-emptive strike.

A spokesman for the UK Foreign Office said: “We are concerned by reports of a missile test by North Korea and are monitoring the situation closely.”

The move comes a day after a giant military parade in North Korea’s capital and exactly one year after a similar failure, when Pyongyang attempted to mark the anniversary of its founder’s birth, Kim Il-sung, on 15 April, by launching a Musudan missile.

On Saturday at a vast military parade, North Korea displayed new long-range missiles that could one day threaten continental America, showcasing the isolated nation’s defiance as a US aircraft carrier group headed to the region.

Kim Jong-un has overseen three nuclear tests and a string of missile and rocket launches since taking over after the death of his father, dictator Kim Jong-il, in late 2011.

Another missile test from Sinpo ended in failured earlier this month, when the rocket spun out of control and plunged into the ocean. That launch came shortly before Trump’s first meeting with Chinese leader Xi Jinping. China is North Korea’s only major ally.

Missiles are driven through Kim Il-sung square on Saturday.

Missiles are driven through Kim Il-sung square on Saturday. Reuters

Despite Sunday’s failure, the North’s previous claim to have used “standardised” warheads has led to worries that it was making headway in its push to develop small and sophisticated warheads to be topped on long-range missiles.

China offered no immediate reaction to the missile launch. But in a commentary released after Saturday’s military demonstration, Beijing’s official news agency, Xinhua, said the region had reached “a critical moment in history” and warned that a pre-emptive US strike could trigger full-scale war.

It was now time for North Korea and the US to strike a “grand bargain,” Xinhua said.

Categories: New World Order