A failed North Korean missile crashed in its own city this year

A ballistic missile launched by North Korea a year ago failed in flight and crashed back to the ground, it has been reported.

The missile didn't fly higher than 70 kilometers, or about 43 miles, and it crash-landed dangerously close to a highly populated town.

A United States government source told The Diplomat that the missile's initial stage engines failed after about one minute of powered flight, leading to a "catastrophic failure".

A Google image of the site where The Diplomat says a failed missile came crashing to earth.

"It's impossible to verify if the incident caused any loss of life and, given the time of day the test occurred and the location of the impact, it may be likely that few, if any, casualties resulted from the incident", The Diplomat pointed out.

The Diplomat notes that the North Korean regime, in its race to better its rocket-based capabilities, "has even carried out ballistic missile launches from a restricted area at Pyongyang's Sunan Airport, which also serves as the country's primary civil aviation facility and the entrypoint for most non-Chinese foreign visitors to North Korea".

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GoogleEarth images from 2016 show no such damage to the buildings, one of which does not appear to have been built yet.

Dr Baker, an adviser to Reagan during the Cold War, claimed North Korea is taking "considerable" risks, which could see a missile veering off course and hitting the wrong target.

Since the failed test, North Korea has successfully launched an ICBM, and the tension between the two countries has ramped up significantly.

Using mobile missile launchers, which sometimes even have treads like a tank, North Korea showed in 2017 it could launch from virtually anywhere within its borders.

North Korea launched an ICBM over Japan into the Pacific Ocean on September 14, and then again on November 29 of previous year. North Korea launched its first ICBM back in July and the USA did nothing but impose more sanctions.

Those threats came as North Korea held a massive parade in its capital Pyongyang on Saturday to mark the 105th anniversary of its founding father Kim Il Sung - and to showcase its military might. Obviously, it raises concerns about the possibility any one of Kim Jong Un's tests could go awry and maybe next time crash in South Korea or Japan, potentially sparking a nuclear war. North Korean State media spoke of a nuclear attack on the US at any sign of American aggression, as a US Navy strike group steamed toward the western Pacific.

  • Megan Austin