North Korea has failed to launch a mid-range missile off of the Sea of Japan on its East coast. The missile was being used in the yearly celebration that is the birthday of the original leader of the country, Kim Il-Sung. The day is otherwise known as “the day of the sun.”
The Washington Post reported the type of missile used in the launch was a “Musudan,” or a BM-25, which has a maximum range of approximately 2,500 miles, and is capable of carrying a 1.3-ton nuclear warhead. The Post also mentioned that an official from South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff had said the missile had “deviated from a ‘normal’ trajectory,” which is most likely the reason for the failure.
“The US military tracked the launch, and while there was quote ‘an explosion,’ it isn’t clear if that explosion took place in the air or on the ground,” said ABC News.
Due to the embarrassment of this failure, the Jamestown Sun reported that there is the possibility of the country conducting another nuclear test in the coming days or weeks. The Jamestown Sun also reported a senior South Korean official as saying that “North Korea is capable of conducting an additional nuclear test at any time if there is a decision by Kim Jong Un.” This would be the country’s fifth such test, and will more than likely draw even more criticism from the international community.
Newsweek reported China’s official Xinhua news agency as saying “the firing of a mid-range ballistic missile on Friday by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), though failed, marks the latest in a string of sabre-rattling that, if unchecked, will lead the country to nowhere.”
Reuters reported that Lu Kang, who is the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said that “at present, the situation on the peninsula is complex and sensitive. We hope all parties can strictly respect the decisions of the Security Council and avoid taking any steps that could further worsen tensions.”
Every year the North Korean government uses the birthday of the Kim Il-Sung as a sort of excuse to test fire missiles. The launches are in blatant defiance of UN security resolutions.
North Korea is technically still at war with the United States, which has absorbed continued threats of nuclear attack from the country for years. In fact, only mere weeks ago Vladimir Putin even stepped in and told the North Korean regime to tone it down, or their words may give others reason to invade them.
The United States also continues to work closely with South Korean military officials, and conduct large scale drills on the border of North and South Korea. These military exercises have produced anger and threats from the regime in the past.
[Photo by AP Photo/Ahnn Young-joon]