North Korea's ballistic missile accidentally hits own city

North Korea Might Have Accidentally Hit Its Own Cities With A Missile

North Korea Might Have Accidentally Hit Its Own Cities With A Missile

Kim Jong-un's failed missile test on April 28 previous year was barely acknowledged by the United States after it crashed shortly after launch.

According to a U.S. government official, satellite images show damage to Tokchom, which has a population of 200,000, after a failed test launch.

From a location near North Korea's Pukchang Airfield, the missile flew approximately 39 kilometers (24 miles) to the northeast where it struck a complex of industrial or agricultural facilities in Tokchon, The Diplomat said, citing satellite imagery.

The publication quoted a USA government source with knowledge of the North's weapons program as saying the missile's first stage engines failed around a minute into flight, resulting in "catastrophic failure".

Satellite images from Google Earth and PlanetLabs published in The Diplomat appear to corroborate the source, showing damage from debris in a building complex located near a large group of other buildings. However, it is not known whether any loss of life was reported.

Initially, reports had suggested that the intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) had exploded into pieces in mid-flight but new evidence suggest that it in fact crashed into the city of 200,000. The report also draws attention to seeming structural damage to one of the buildings. It is believed that the success of the missile paved way for Hwasong-14/KN20 intercontinental-range ballistic missile (ICBM), unveiled by North Korea previous year.

North Korea Might Have Accidentally Hit Its Own Cities With A Missile

Since 2008, photographer Eric Lafforgue ventured to North Korea six times.

Another North Korea missile launch had failed before Pence's landed in Seoul, but that came from the seaside town of Sinpo and any early in-flight failure over the ocean would mean there was a low chance of hitting populated urban areas.

The missile launch went largely unnoticed due to its failure, but concerns were raised in Washington about the risk of an accidental conflict starting in the event of a similar such failure.

Kim Jong Un conducted 16 missile tests since February 2017, firing 23 various missiles.

He may have a nuclear button on his desk at all times but North Korean leader Kim Jong Un may not have complete control over his ballistic missiles.

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