North Korea missile launch ended in failure, says Pentagon
The news came hours before American Vice President Mike Pence was due in South Korea to discuss Pyongyang’s nuclear programmes.
A day after North Korea held a military parade displaying its new long-range ballistic missiles, Pyongyang failed to launch a missile on its east coast on Sunday, the Pentagon confirmed. The missile blew up “almost immediately” after its launch and the type of missile was being analysed, the US Pacific Command said in a statement, according to Reuters.
North Korea had attempted to test an unidentified type of missile from the “Sinpo area, in South Hamkyong Province”, the South Korean defence ministry said. “We suspect the launch has failed.”
The failed launch came as US Vice President Mike Pence was on his way to Seoul to hold talks with South Korea about the North’s nuclear programmes. Pence was briefed on the failed launch while he was aboard Air Force Two, reported The New York Times.
“The president and his military team are aware of North Korea’s most recent unsuccessful missile launch. The president has no further comment,” Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said.
On Saturday, North Korea had observed the 105th birth anniversary of its founding president, Kim II-sung, with a huge military parade in its capital Pyongyang. “If the United States wages reckless provocation against us, our revolutionary power will instantly counter with annihilating strike,” Kim Jong-un’s spokesperson Choe Ryong Have had said.
On April 5, North Korea had fired a ballistic missile that had crashed into the Sea of Japan. On April 3, US President Donald Trump had said his administration would “solve North Korea” on its own, if China was not willing to do it. Though he said he would “totally” succeed, he did not reveal any details about how he planned to deal with the nuclear threat from the isolated nation.
In March, North Korea fired four ballistic missiles. The country has been banned by the UN from test-firing missiles.