North Korea conducts failed missile launch, Seoul says

Seoul, Mar 16 (EFE).- North Korea appeared to have conducted a failed launch of a suspected ballistic missile on Wednesday, according to officials in neighboring South Korea and Japan.

Shortly after the test, Japanese government officials said they suspected Pyongyang launched a ballistic missile.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement that “North Korea fired an unknown projectile from the Sunan area around 09:30 (00:30 GMT) today, but it is presumed that it failed immediately after launch.”

Sunan is where Pyongyang airport is located, and the spot from where the regime made two launches on Feb. 27 and Mar. 5.

Washington, Seoul and Tokyo said that those two launches from Sunan were aimed at testing new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) technology belonging to a missile called Hwasong-17.

This accusation rejects the North Korean regime’s claim that those launches were to develop a “reconnaissance satellite.”

The Pentagon said that Pyongyang is likely to conduct a test “at full range in the future, potentially disguised as a space launch,” as it is considered to have done with the launches of several satellites over the last two decades.

That warning coincided with North Korea’s announcement of the visit of leader Kim Jong-un to the Sohae satellite launching station and its plans to improve and expand the facilities to launch reconnaissance satellites on board larger carrier rockets.

Including Wednesday’s launch, Pyongyang has carried out a record 10 missile tests since the beginning of the year. EFE


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