A failed North Korean missile crashed in its own city this year
05 January, 2018, 14:13
The country launched a Hwasong-12/KN17 intermediate-range ballistic missile, or IRBM, from Pukchang Airfield in South Pyongan Province.
The Nov. 29 ICBM test was North Korea's most powerful yet, and experts have speculated that the country might be able to reach the continental United States.
A USA government source told the site the rocket failed one minute after it was launched and came crashing down "causing considerable damage to a complex of industrial or agricultural buildings". The accident in Tokchon was reportedly the third failed test of a Hwasong-12 missile that same month.
According to The Diplomat, the missile never flew higher than 70 kilometers as its first stage engines shut down just minutes into the flight.
Updated | North Korea's pursuit of a missile capable of reaching the USA caused accidents along the way, The Diplomat reported Wednesday, referring to a missile test failure in April 2017.
The Diplomat noted that a failed launch might explain why North Korea used Sinpo, a seaside town, to conduct at least two test launches for the Hwasong-12 missile - an errant missile crashing into the sea would be less unsafe than one hitting a populated area.
Although the images show that the explosion caused considerable damage in the heavily populated area, there is no way to tell if the crash led to casualties.
Fortunately, it looks like the damage was confined to an industrial facility and greenhouse, but there appears to be residential buildings within the same shot frames.
Had the missile successfully completed the test, it would have landed in the northern part of the Sea of Japan, near the Russian coast.
However The Diplomat said it was impossible to ascertain whether there was any loss of life.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inspects the long-range strategic ballistic rocket Hwasong-12 (Mars-12) in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on May 15, 2017.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un discussing weapons in Pyongyang.
North Korea has since conducted a flurry of nuclear and ballistic missile tests ramping up tensions on the divided Korean Peninsula.
The Diplomat says that North Korea has the strategy of often using new sites for missile testing.
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