North Korea is 'in the early stages of another missile test'
05 January, 2018, 14:13 | Author: Jason Torres
Papers around the world on Friday relayed a shattering exposé by the Diplomat magazine that an intermediate range missile fired by the hardline regime on April 28 previous year veered off trajectory shortly after launch and plunged into Tokchon, a city of 237,000 residents less than 100 kilometers northeast of Pyongyang.
The Diplomat says that when it compared older and newer images of the failed missile's apparent crash site - which was said by its USA source to be an industrial area in the city of Tokchon, 39 kilometres to the east of the launch - differences were apparent in the newer images.
The Diplomat report also claimed that North Korea's missile program was more advanced than the United States and its Allies had anticipated despite the April 28 launch failure and its inherent dangers. The Diplomat said that contrary to reports elsewhere, the missiles launched during that April period were not anti-ship missiles but new intermediate-range ballistic missiles.
The source said that within a minute of being in the air, the missile's first stage engines failed and caused it to crash back down to the ground.
Although the images show that the explosion caused considerable damage in the heavily populated area, there is no way to tell if the crash led to casualties.
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.
But only a month later, Kim successfully tested the Hwasong-12 missile, before firing the Hwasong-15 in November and claiming it was his most powerful yet.
North Korea has since conducted a flurry of nuclear and ballistic missile tests ramping up tensions on the divided Korean Peninsula. "A slight difference in trajectory may could have resulted in an even more catastrophic accident over a populated region".
Since the earliest days of ballistic missiles by Nazi Germany in World War II, the most risky moments in missile tests and firing are the launch and immediate post-launch phases.
The particular experiment was the third attempt by North Korea to flawless its Hwasong-12 missile.
In November a successful Intercontinental Ballistic Missile launch, the massive Hwasong-15 that led Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to label North Korea "a criminal nation", proved Kim Jong-un could reach "all parts of the USA mainland", the communist state claimed.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un discussing weapons in Pyongyang.
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