A North Korean missile crashed into one of its cities past year

Screen Shot

It is believed the rocket was launched at the Pukchang Airfield - which has not been used for ballistic missile tests before, according to reports - in April a year ago.

News of the failure sharply escalates concerns that such an errant missile could lead to war if it lands in a country like Japan or South Korea. The Diplomat says the missile caused "considerable damage to a complex of industrial or agricultural buildings" but couldn't confirm if there were any casualties. Had the missile successfully completed the test, it would have landed in the northern part of the Sea of Japan, near the Russian coast.

An intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM), named the Hwasong KN-17, was sacked from Pukchang Airfield in South Pyongan Province, 40 miles north of Pyongyang on April 28 a year ago, the source told The Diplomat. This photo shows a test launch of the ground-to-ground medium long-range strategic ballistic rocket Hwasong-12 at an undisclosed location, May 14, 2017.

On April 28, it was third test of Hwasong-12. The Hwasong-12 is a liquid fuel missile which uses combination of hypergolic propellant and oxidizer.

The report on The Diplomat further added that chances of failure were high, and that may have been the reason why Pyongyang chose the sea-side town of Sinpo as its initial test site rather than Pyongyang.

It flew around 24 miles to the northeast before failing and coming down on the city of Tokchon, according to news website The Diplomat.

A North Korean missile crashed into one of its cities past year
A North Korean missile crashed into one of its cities past year

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.

In November, North Korea test-fired its most powerful Inter-continental ballistic missile yet which experts said is likely capable of striking nearly anywhere on earth.

The unpredictability and mobility of North Korea's launches mean the United States or its allies would have a hard time preempting such a launch or even knowing where to look for one.

The intermediate-range ballistic missile, or IRBM, is capable of reaching the US territory of Guam.

Tensions are softer between North Korea and South Korea, however, as Kim said he's willing to send a delegation to next month's Winter Olympics in South Korea.

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