North Korean Test Missile Explodes on Launch
- Author: Leroy Wright Apr 16, 2017,
Apr 16, 2017, 11:22
The White House has said US President Donald Trump has put the North "on notice" while the possibility of US military action against Pyongyang has gained traction following US strikes against Syria on April 7.
A series of what appeared to be KN-08 missiles were among the weapons rolled out on trucks.
US Navy Commander Dave Benham, a spokesman for US Pacific Command, said it detected and tracked what it assessed to be a North Korean ballistic missile launch at 11:21 a.m. Hawaii time (2121 GMT).
President Trump was uncharacteristically quiet about the failed launch.
It's also conducted engine tests that analysts say could potentially power a long-range missile.
Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis said that president was aware of the test launch but was not giving further comments. He'll arrive in Seoul on Easter Sunday, a day after North Korea's biggest holiday. The ICBMs would be the largest weapons the country has produced.
North Korea has under 500 miles of paved roads, Panda wrote, and previous wheeled-launchers could risk damage to the missile operating off those.
His travels to the region, including stops in South Korea and Japan beginning Sunday, come amid indications that North Korea is potentially preparing its sixth nuclear test in a decade or a significant missile launch, such as its first flight test of an intercontinental ballistic missile. This matters because while North Korea regularly launches short-range missiles, it is also developing mid-range and long-range missiles meant to target US troops in Asia and, eventually, the USA mainland.
Ahead of Pence's arrival, North Korea's vice foreign minister told The Associated Press in an interview that Trump was the culprit of escalating tensions through his tweets and expansion of military exercises, arguing that the United States was becoming "more vicious and more aggressive" under Trump compared to his predecessor. Neither military knew what kind of missile was sacked.
In Seoul, South Korea's presidential office convened a national security council meeting to examine its security policy.
Such a missile launch would not be unprecedented, as the North Korean state has done so repeatedly in the past, and as the BBC details, has conducted nuclear tests as well.
"The missile blew up nearly immediately", Commander Benham said.
Pyongyang has carried out five nuclear tests - two of them a year ago - and multiple missile launches, one of which saw three rockets come down in waters provocatively close to Japan last month.
"I think the (Trump) administration anticipated that a ballistic missile launch would occur, and I have to wonder whether they were prepared to use the ships that are with that carrier group to shoot down that missile" as long as the ships were positioned in the right spots, Bennett said. Also on display was a powerful midrange missile that can potentially reach USA air bases in Guam, which outside analysts call a "Musudan", as well as a new solid-fuel midrange missile that can be fired from land mobile launchers, making them harder to detect before launch.