Published: Fri, January 05, 2018
Worldwide | By Victor Meyer

North Korea strikes its own city Tokchon as test missile goes wrong

North Korea strikes its own city Tokchon as test missile goes wrong

According to a report from The Diplomat, an intermediate-range ballistic missile launched in late April crashed in the city of Tokchon after about one minute of powered flight.

The Diplomat noted that a failed launch might explain why North Korea used Sinpo, a seaside town, to conduct at least two test launches for the Hwasong-12 missile - an errant missile crashing into the sea would be less risky than one hitting a populated area.

It was launched from Pukchang Airfield in South Pyongan Province.

Satellite imagery scanned by the authors shows damage to industrial or agricultural buildings near a residential area. The Diplomat said that it was impossible to determine if there were any casualties, though the time of day and the location of the impact site meant the death toll was unlikely to be high, if any.

Just as a thaw appears to be emerging between the two feuding Korean governments, news has come about a missile test misfire by Pyongyang in April 2017 - which allegedly struck a city in central North Korea.

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These included "ground disturbances in an area that previously contained a building with fencing" and damage to a greenhouse on the complex.

In February 2017, North Korea successfully fired a booster rocket in what was seen by the world as a ballistic missile test, resulting in a new series of sanctions imposed upon Pyongyang by the UN Security Council. "A slight difference in trajectory may could have resulted in an even more catastrophic accident over a populated region".

Kim announced his reclusive nation had become a "full nuclear state" in November following the successful launch of his most powerful rocket. That missile, which North Korea claims can reach the United States, also reportedly failed and broke up on re-entry.

One persistent claim from the West is that despite North Korea's clear improvements in missile technology, it remains unreliable, which could pose even more of a danger to life.

The global community is still unaware exactly what caused a massive explosion that devastated the city of Ryongchong in 2004, soon after then-North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il had passed through in his personal train.

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