North Korean missile test crashed into one of country’s own cities: report

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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un guides the launch of a Hwasong-12 missile in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on September 16, 2017. KCNA via Reuters

A missile test from North Korean failed and crashed last year into one of the rogue nation’s own cities, a report has revealed. The country’s test of an intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) allegedly crash-landed in Tokchon city and caused damages to some buildings.

The incident supposedly occurred on April 28, as reported by Japanese magazine The Diplomat. The rocket was reportedly launched from a military airbase in South Pyongyang. The problem arose when its engines failed only a minute into the flight, it has been said.

A US government source told The Diplomat that the missile’s initial stage engines failed after about one minute of powered flight, leading to a “catastrophic failure.” The missile did not fly higher than about 70 kilometres.

Proof of the incident can be corroborated by imagery from April and May 2017. The failure reportedly caused damages to a complex of agricultural or industrial buildings. A nearby greenhouse was also damaged.

It was unclear if anyone was injured or killed after the alleged April 28 missile test failure as the government source did not provide such information. The incident was said to be the third failed test of a Hwasong-12 missile that same month.

There are fears that the likelihood of similar incidents occurring over Pyongyang, the country’s capital, remains high. With an untested system, it could also happen to other populated regions.

North Korea shows no signs of slowing down despite the supposed failures. The regime decided to start test-firing intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) in November.

The regime claimed that the missile could reach the United States. However, there are reports claiming that it also failed and broke up on re-entry.

Last year, the regime also named new sites for missile testing, a move viewed as a way to show the flexibility of its Strategic Rocket Force. It carried out ballistic missile launches from Pyongyang’s Sunan Airport.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un recently made headlines and caught the attention of US President Donald Trump when he said he has a “nuclear button” on his desk at all times. Trump responded to the comment and took to Twitter to say he has a much bigger and more powerful nuclear button. Also, the White House recently said that Americans must be concerned about Kim’s mental fitness and not that of their president.

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