North Korea conducts unsuccessful missile launch, says US
The launch was believed to be of a much-hyped Musudan missile. (Representative image) Photograph: (Getty)
North Korea has conducted yet another unsuccessful test-launch of a powerful medium-range Musudan missile, the US military said yesterday. Existing UN sanctions prohibit North Korea from using ballistic missile technology.
This makes it the seventh test-launch of the much-hyped Musudan missile which has a range of anywhere between 2500 and 4000 kilometres, making it capable of striking the US military bases in Guam, AFP reported. Only one met with partial success - the launch in June that flew 400 kilometres into the Sea of Japan.
The US Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) said in a statement that the launch, detected just after midday did not pose a threat to North America."The North American Aerospace Defense Command determined the missile launch from North Korea did not pose a threat to North America."
Saturday's launch was detected at 1203 Pyongyang time (0333 GMT) from the northwestern North Korean town of Kusong. Such launches are usually detected within hours or even minutes by the South Korean and US militaries, and it was unclear why Sunday's USSTRATCOM announcement came so long after the event, AFP reported.
There was no immediate confirmation from the South Korean side.
The June test was hailed by leader Kim Jong-Un as a complete success and proof of the North's ability to strike US bases across "the Pacific operation theatre."
Despite being banned by the UN, North Korea has made a number of missile-related tests this year
US weapons analysts fear that a successful Musudan testing could help the nuclear-armed country develop an operational intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of striking the US mainland.
After satellite imagery showed one of its nuclear site buzzing with activity, there are fears that the country may conduct a nuclear test as well - it has already conducted two in January and September.
The previous tests were held in 2006, 2009 and 2013.
(WION with inputs from AFP)