North Korea test-fires a missile from Wonsan, but fails

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North Korea test-fires a missile from Wonsan, but fails

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North Korea fired a missile from its east coast Wednesday morning but it ended in failure, according to South Korea's Ministry of National Defense.

The projectile was launched from Wonsan in Kangwon Province, but appears to have exploded in mid-air, military officials said.
Further information was undisclosed.

The missile test is North Korea's third this year alone. North Korea pushed through its first ballistic missile test on Feb. 12 with an intermediate range projectile that peaked at an altitude of 550 kilometers (342 miles) and flew 500 kilometers before splashing into the East Sea.

On March 6, it test-fired four Scud-ER missiles off its eastern coast, three of which fell into waters within Japan’s exclusive economic zone; they all reached an altitude of about 260 kilometers and flew 1,000 kilometers.

A U.S. think tank, 38 North, recently raised the possibility of a sixth nuclear experiment by the North, citing satellite imagery near the Punggye-ri nuclear test site. An analysis showed that the site is “potentially suitable for the conduct of larger tests than those to date, up to a maximum of 282 kilotons,” it wrote.

If true, one possible date could be April 16, the anniversary of the birth of North Korea founder Kim Il Sung, Kim Jong-un’s grandfather. North Korea has a history of celebrating significant anniversaries by flaunting its military prowess.


BY LEE SUNG-EUN [lee.sungeun@joongang.co.kr]

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