In what would be the latest in a streak of unsuccessful missile tests, North Korea attempted to fire a ballistic missile off its east coast but the launch appears to have failed, claim South Korean defence officials.
According to South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, the attempted launch happened at 05:20 Seoul time near the city of Wonson.
Despite being banned by the UN from using any ballistic missile technology, North Korea regularly tests short-range missiles off its east coast.
It is speculated that the missile tested was a powerful medium-range Musudan. The Musudan missile theoretically has the range to reach any part of Japan and the U.S. territory of Guam. In April, North Korea had attempted three test launches of the Musudan, all of which failed.
“We have no reports of any damage in Japan. We are gathering and analyzing data. The defense ministry is prepared to respond to any situation,” Japanese Minister of Defence Gen Nakatani told a media briefing.
Tension in Northeast Asia has been high since North Korea conducted its fourth nuclear test in January and followed that with a satellite launch and missile test launches.