Friday, 23 February, 2018

Attempted North Korean Missile Launch Fails, US Confirms

Boeing WC-135 Constant Phoenix US WC-135 ‘Nuke Sniffer’ Arrives in Japan as World Watches Pyongyang Wikipedia
Melissa Porter | 17 April, 2017, 06:53

"The launch of the ballistic missile occurred near Sinpo", PACOM continued.

"Tensions between our two countries have reached a peak, leaving us in the worst situation ever", North Korea's Vice Foreign Minister Han Song Ryol told CBS News.

Last year, Pyongyang attempted to launch a Musudan missile on April 15, an auspicious date on which millions celebrate the birth of the nation's founder - Kim II Sung, the late grandfather of North Korea's current leader.

The group brought ships that could shoot down missiles that North Korea has been testing.

A North Korean missile "blew up nearly immediately" on its test launch on Sunday, according to the US Pacific Command.

The launch comes one day after a military parade in Pyongyang unveiled what are thought to be new inter-continental ballistic missiles as well as new submarine-launched missiles. North Korea has conducted five nuclear tests since 2006.

Mr Pence is due in Seoul at the start of a 10-day trip to Asia in what his aides said was a sign of the U.S. commitment to its ally in the face of rising tension over North Korea.

Trump has suggested the US will take a tougher stance against North Korea, telling reporters last week: "North Korea is a problem".

"US Pacific Command detected and tracked what we assess was a North Korean missile launch at 11:21am Hawaiian time April 15", read a statement by the US military. "We have no further comment".

A man watches a TV showing file footage of a North Korea's ballistic missile at Seoul Railway Station in Seoul on Sunday. Also on display was a powerful midrange missile that can potentially reach USA air bases in Guam, which outside analysts call a "Musudan", as well as a new solid-fuel midrange missile that can be fired from land mobile launchers, making them harder to detect before launch.

Its army vowed Friday a "merciless" response to any U.S. provocation, adding that Trump had "entered the path of open threat and blackmail" against Pyongyang. North Korea launched a series of medium-range Musudan missiles past year - thought to be created to become a stage in an ICBM - and all but one failed.

South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said it failed to take off, while a Defence Ministry official told CNN the same.

Despite North Korea's provocations, US officials have said that the USA doesn't intend to use military force against North Korea in response to either a nuclear test or a missile launch.

President Donald Trump was uncharacteristically quiet about the failed launch of a North Korean missile from the country's east coast.

U.S. military officials don't believe the missile had intercontinental capabilities, a United States defense official told CNN.

North Korea has warned that it was prepared to strike back against the United States and South Korea as tensions rise on the Korean Peninsula.

It is unclear how successful the program has been, because it is nearly impossible to tell whether any individual launch failed because of sabotage, faulty engineering or bad luck. Pyongyang launched a ballistic missile from the same region earlier this month.

President Trump, who is spending the holiday weekend at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, was briefed on the attempted launch and also spoke by phone with Pence.

Since then, Washington and a vast majority of world governments have repeatedly demanded that the North denuclearize the Korean Peninsula.

That missile flew about 60 km (40 miles) but what USA officials said appeared to be a liquid-fuelled, extended-range Scud missile only travelled a fraction of its range before spinning out of control.

Despite Sunday's failure, the North's previous claim to have used "standardised" warheads has led to worries that it was making headway in its push to develop small and sophisticated warheads to be topped on long-range missiles. Under his watch, North Korea has aggressively pursued a goal of putting a nuclear warhead on an ICBM capable of reaching the US mainland.