North Korean Missile Test Fails
North Korea has launched a ballistic missile from an area north of the country’s capital, Pyongyang, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported, citing the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff.
“North Korea fired an unidentified missile from a site in the vicinity of Bukchang in Pyeongannam-do (South Pyeongan Province) early this morning," the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said in a statement, according to Yonhap.
“It is estimated to have failed,” the JCS said.
The US Pacific Command detected and tracked the missile launch from an area near the Pukchang airfield, but determined that the missile never posed any threat to the United States, as according to the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) it never left North Korean airspace.
The projectile, presumed to be a KN-17 medium range ballistic missile, appeared to have broken up and exploded “within minutes” of the launch, US officials told Reuters on condition of anonymity.
Missile debris allegedly landed in the Sea of Japan, also known as the East Sea, according to a US official who spoke with CNN. An unnamed US official confirmed to NBC News that there was no indication that the test was nuclear.
The Pacific Command stressed that Washington “stands behind our steadfast commitment to the security of our allies in the Republic of Korea and Japan.”
The reported launch comes amid rising tensions in the region and a US military buildup in response to the North Korean 'nuclear threat.'
It also comes just hours after US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told the UN Security Council that the military option remains on the table for the US to curb Pyongyang's nuclear program.
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