North Korea's midrange missile crashes during test launch

COMPILED FROM WIRE SERVICES
SEOUL, South Korea
Published 28.04.2016 10:38
An undated photo released on 24 April 2016 by North Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) shows an 'underwater test-fire of strategic submarine ballistic missile' conducted at an undisclosed location in North Korea (EPA Photo)
An undated photo released on 24 April 2016 by North Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) shows an 'underwater test-fire of strategic submarine ballistic missile' conducted at an undisclosed location in North Korea (EPA Photo)

North Korea fired what appeared to have been an intermediate range ballistic missile on Thursday but it crashed seconds after the test launch, South Korea's defense ministry said.

If confirmed to be the same type of missile, Thursday's launch is the second such failure in recent weeks. It's particularly embarrassing as it comes ahead of a major ruling party meeting next week in Pyongyang.

A Defense Ministry official says the launch was likely the second attempt for the inaugural test of a Musudan, a new, powerful midrange missile that could one day be capable of reaching far-off U.S. military bases in Asia and the Pacific. It exploded in the air a few seconds after liftoff.

The launch comes as the Koreas trade threats amid Pyongyang's anger over annual South Korean-U.S. military drills that North Korea calls a rehearsal for an invasion.

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