North Korea ballistic missile test fails: Report.
North Korea test-fired a ballistic missile on Saturday in local time, Korean news service Yonhap reported citing South Korea’s military.
A U.S. official confirmed to NBC News that there was a failed test and that it was not nuclear.
The incident comes as the United States reconsiders its strategy in dealing with the isolated nation.
#BREAKING: North Korea ballistic missile test fails: Report
— Voice Of People (@VOP_Today) April 28, 2017
AFP news repors North Korea test-fired a ballistic missile from an area north of Pyongyang Saturday, a news agency report said, but it failed seconds after it was launched.
The test comes with tensions high on the Korean peninsula, with this the latest in a series of missile launches by the North and warnings from US President Donald Trump’s administration that it was running out of patience.
“North Korea fired an unidentified missile from a site in the vicinity of Bukchang in Pyeongannam-do (South Pyeongan Province) early this morning,” Yonhap reported, quoting a statement issued by South Korea’s military.
“It is estimated to have failed.”
In Washington, a US defense official confirmed to AFP that North Korea had test fired some kind of missile.
The report added that the missile “apparently exploded seconds after liftoff”.
Seoul was analysing the type and flight distance of the projectile.
The North has been ratcheting up tensions for months with a series of missile launches, including a volley of rockets in early March which saw three fall provocatively close to Japan.
At the time, Pyongyang said it was a drill for an attack on US bases in Japan.
The surge in tensions has rattled China, especially with Trump’s repeated insistence that the US would take on North Korea alone if Beijing fails to curb Pyongyang’s provocative behaviour.
At UN Security Council on Friday, Washington pushed for tougher sanctions to confront the North Korean threat, piling pressure on China to rein in its ally while warning it was keeping military options “on the table”.
Addressing the UN Security Council for the first time, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called for a global campaign of pressure to force Pyongyang to change course and put a halt to its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
“Failing to act now on the most pressing security issue in the world may bring catastrophic consequences,” he warned.
Tillerson put the onus on China to use its “unique” leverage to influence its communist ally, but Beijing pushed back, arguing that it was unrealistic to expect one country to solve the conflict.
China’s patience with Pyongyang has clearly worn extremely thin and — despite their historically close relations — Kim Jong-Un has yet to visit Beijing, more than five years after inheriting power from his father.
But China is reluctant to squeeze the unpredictable North too hard and risk triggering a confrontation or a regime collapse that could send a massive outflow of refugees into its territory — and see US troops on its border in a unified Korea.
Since taking power in 2011, Kim has stepped up a push to upgrade the North’s weapons, and said in a New Year’s address hat Pyongyang was in the “final stages” of developing an intercontinental ballistic missile.
Analysts are divided over how close Pyongyang is to realising its full nuclear ambitions, but all agree it has made enormous strides under Kim’s leadership.
— Voice Of People (@VOP_Today) April 28, 2017
The missile has been assessed to be a KN-17, a former Scud missile that officials believe is being tested to one day target ships.
The missile flew roughly 25 miles and was in the air for about 15 minutes, officials tell Fox News. The KN-17 was launched from Pukchang.
It is not immediately clear if this missile launch was successful.
The U.S. Pacific Command and US Strategic command is still assessing.
“North Korea fired an unidentified missile from a site in the vicinity of Bukchang in Pyeongannam-do (South Pyeongan Province) early this morning,” the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said in a statement to the Yonhap News Agency.
The JSC is analyzing the type and flight distance of the projectile.
This incident follows an attempted missile launch earlier this month that failed.
It also comes at a time when the Trump administration is considering how to deal with the threat from North Korea.
Last year, Pyongyang attempted to launch a Musudan missile on April 15, an auspicious date on which millions celebrate Kim II Sung’s birthday. The secretive, isolated regime has already had several missile launch tests this year.
On Friday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told the United Nations to take new sanctions against North Korea.
NBC News, AFP News and Fox News provided this report.