A North Korean ballistic missile failed during a test launch, crashing and exploded in a town and causing damage to buildings and unknown casualties, missile experts have claimed.
A report in The Independent quoted USA officials as saying that the Hwasong-12 ballistic missile landed in Tokchon - about 150 kilometers from Pyongyang - after being launched on April 28 of previous year. The Diplomat says that North Korea has the strategy of often using new sites for missile testing.
The successful launch of the missile's test flight could have seen it land near the Sea of Japan but the failed missile, however, crashed in the city of Tokchon that has a population of 200,000.
Since the earliest days of ballistic missiles by Nazi Germany in World War II, the most risky moments in missile tests and firing are the launch and immediate post-launch phases.
As per a United States government source, the first stage engines of the missile failed around a minute after the launch.
The aggressive missile tests in the past few years have escalated tensions in the political arena between Pyongyang and Washington. A building in Chongsin-dong, Tokchon, which appeared to be a greenhouse, was severely damaged with a crater-like impact zone on the ground, believed to have been caused by the highly volatile liquid propellant of the missile, the magazine said, citing an anonymous U.S. official.
On April 28, it was third test of Hwasong-12. However, it is not known whether any loss of life was reported. The explosion destroyed some 1,850 buildings; death toll estimates range between 160 and 3,000.
"North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un just stated that the "Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times".
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