North Korea launched a ballistic missile last year that failed in flight before crashing on one of its cities, according to The Diplomat.
The Diplomat on Wednesday reported that the launch occurred on April 28, 2017 out of North Korea’s Pukchang Airport in South Pyongan Province.
A U.S. government source with knowledge of North Korea’s weapons program on Wednesday told The Diplomat that the missile’s first stage engine failed roughly a minute into flight. The missile never flew higher than approximately 44 miles, and it ultimately crashed in Tokchon, North Korea.
The projectile was a Hwasong-12/KN17 intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM), and its crash caused considerable damage to a complex of agricultural and industrial buildings in Tokchon. The accident was one of three failed launches last April that North Korea experienced while testing the Hwasong-12.
The missile was successfully flight-tested weeks later, however, with a smooth launch on May 14, 2017. The Diplomat reported that it is impossible to verify whether the crash in Tokchon resulted in any loss of life.
Global tensions over North Korea’s pursuit of nuclear weapons and improved ballistic missiles have been steadily rising since last year.
President Trump on Tuesday tweeted his “button” for launching nuclear missiles is “much bigger” than North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s. “North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the ‘Nuclear Button’ is on his desk at all times,” he wrote. “Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!”
Kim on Monday warned the U.S. about the progress of North Korea’s nuclear weapons research during his annual New Year’s Day address.
“The entire mainland of the U.S. is within the range of our nuclear weapons and the nuclear button is always on the desk of my office,” he said. “They should accurately be aware that this is not a threat but a reality.”
With all of the failed “experts” weighing in, does anybody really believe that talks and dialogue would be going on between North and South Korea right now if I wasn’t firm, strong and willing to commit our total “might” against the North. Fools, but talks are a good thing!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 4, 2018