Published: Fri, January 05, 2018
Global | By Enrique Rogers

A failed North Korean missile crashed in its own city this year

A failed North Korean missile crashed in its own city this year

According to The Diplomat, on April 28, 2017, the Korean People's Army's Air and Anti-Air Force launched a intermediate-range ballistic missile, the Hwasong-12, which crashed into the city of Tokchon, "causing considerable damage to a complex of industrial or agricultural buildings".

It was launched from Pukchang Airfield in South Pyongan Province.

The Diplomat's Ankit Panda and David Schmerler, of the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, cited a US government source as saying the missile failed a minute into flight and never went higher than 70 kilometers.

According to a USA government source with knowledge of North Korea's weapons programs who spoke to The Diplomat, the missile's first stage engines failed after approximately one minute of powered flight, resulting in catastrophic failure.

Notably, the satellite images from Google Earth taken after the crash show a clear area.

However The Diplomat said it was impossible to ascertain whether there was any loss of life.

As per new data received, it has been learned that the missile had crashed in the city of Tokchon, around 90 miles north of the secretive communist country's capital, Pyongyang.

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GoogleEarth images from 2016 show no such damage to the buildings, one of which does not appear to have been built yet.

The Tokyo-based Diplomat news website has reported that a missile test conducted in early 2017 went wrong and landed in a city instead. "A slight difference in trajectory may could have resulted in an even more catastrophic accident over a populated region".

Earlier in the month North Korea had threatened the United States with "nuclear justice" and "thermonuclear war".

Liquid-fuel missiles like the Hwasong-12, which use a highly volatile combination of hypergolic propellant and oxidizers, can produce massive explosions depending on the exact nature of their failure.

It marked the first missile launched since one was sacked across Japan and into the Pacific Ocean on September 15. The North's latest successful missile test involved a Hwasong-15, a model believed to be intercontinental - that is, having the capacity of flying over 5,500km.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un discussing weapons in Pyongyang.

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