North Korea's ballistic missile accidentally hits own city


One of North Korea's test ballistic missiles previous year crashed in a city not far from Pyongyang, according to new findings by online news magazine The Diplomat.

Satellite imagery shows extensive damage to a building in Tokchon shortly after Kim Jong-un launched a Hwasong-12 ballistic missile, it has been reported.

It supposedly happened on April 28.

A missile that North Korea claimed had the range to hit targets anywhere in the United States most likely broke up as it re-entered the earth's atmosphere, a USA official said on Saturday, Dec. 2, reported Fox.

Reports claim that the rocket was launched from a military airbase in South Pyongang.

While a technical analysis of the missile's flight is still pending, the USA official said it had "problems with re-entry".

A USA government official told The Diplomat the missile's first-stage engines refused to start up after a minute of flight on April 28, causing the missile to fall to the ground and blow up the buildings.

An online magazine The Diplomat said though the failure of the launch was reported at the time, it wasn't clear that the intermediate-range ballistic missile came down in the populated area, about two hours outside Pyongyang.

However The Diplomat said it was impossible to ascertain whether there was any loss of life. But the true damage done to buildings is a guess at best given available satellite data.

In the weeks after the failed April 28 launch one of three failures in that month - the Hwasong-12 enjoyed a successful launch on May 14.

There are fears that the likelihood of similar incidents occurring over Pyongyang, the country's capital, remains high.

The potential for disaster with such untested systems in populated areas, the publication notes, is easy to see.

In November, North Korea test-fired its most powerful ICBM ever which is likely capable of striking nearly anywhere on earth.

The regime claimed that the missile could reach the United States. "Our revolutionary strong army is keenly watching every move by enemy elements with our nuclear sight focused on the USA invasionary bases not only in South Korea and the Pacific operation theater but also in the U.S. mainland", its official Rodong Sinmun newspaper said, as reported by Reuters.