North Korean launch apparently ends in failure

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – South Korea said North Korea fired an unidentified projectile, but the launch on Wednesday apparently ended in failure.

The launch was made from the Pyongyang region around noon. 9:30 a.m. before the apparent failure, South Korea’s joint chief of staff said in a statement, adding that South Korean and U.S. intelligence agencies were analyzing details of the launch.

North Korea was soon expected to launch an intercontinental ballistic missile in its most significant provocation since 2017.

The U.S. and South Korean militaries said last week that North Korea had tested an ICBM system in two recent launches, citing the developmental Hwasong-17 missile that North Korea unveiled during a military parade in October 2020.

In the two most recent launches on February 27 and March 5, the North Korean missiles flew medium-range distances, and experts have said that North Korea could eventually conduct a full-scale ICBM test.

Norden has said that they tested cameras and other systems for a spy satellite and released what it said were images taken from space during these tests, but it did not confirm which rocket or missile it fired.

Experts say North Korea is aiming to increase its ICBM capacity while trying to place its first spy satellite into orbit. North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un, has promised to acquire an improved ICBM and a spy satellite among a number of sophisticated weapons systems that he says he needs to cope with what he calls American hostility.

Hwasong-17 is North Korea’s largest missile, potentially capable of flying up to 15,000 kilometers (9,320 miles), far enough to attack anywhere in the United States and beyond. The 25-meter (82-foot) missile, which was shown again at a defense show in Pyongyang last year, has not yet been test-fired.

North Korea has already demonstrated the potential to reach the U.S. mainland with flight tests of other ICBMs, Hwasong-14 and Hwasong-15, in 2017. Some analysts say the development of a larger missile may mean the country is trying to arm itself without long distance. weapons with multiple warheads to overcome missile defense systems.

In recent months, North Korea has conducted a wave of missile tests in what experts say are attempts to modernize its arsenal and pressure the Biden administration as nuclear disarmament talks stall.

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