Published: Sun, April 02, 2017
Global Media | By Meredith Barber

Korea's latest missile test reportedly fails

Korea's latest missile test reportedly fails

Always, without fail, these exercises trigger threatening responses from the North Koreans, who view the drills as a rehearsal for an invasion.

The South Korean defense ministry earlier said that North Korea appeared to have fired an unidentified missile from its Wonsan air base in the east.

It comes as Seoul insisted North Korea's latest rocket-engine test showed "meaningful" progress and as an an analyst said the secretive state had taken a unsafe step towards its goal of developing a rocket that could hit the United States.

In his New Year's address in January, he said that North Korea had "entered the final stage of preparation for the test launch of intercontinental ballistic missile".

"South Korea and the United States are aware of the missile launch and to their knowledge North Korea's missile was not successfully launched".

The North's state media said Sunday that it had conducted a ground test of a new type of high-thrust rocket engine, which it hailed as a breakthrough for the country's space program.

On Tuesday, a North Korean diplomat dismissed the threat of more sanctions and said his government would pursue an "acceleration" of its nuclear and missile programs, including a "pre-emptive first strike capability" and an inter-continental ballistic missile.

Roughly 80,000 US troops are stationed in South Korea and Japan.

A number of North Korean missile launches have failed, with the rocket exploding, veering off course, or plunging into the sea.

The United States is also deploying an advanced missile defense system in South Korea.

Neighbours Japan and South Korea are increasingly concerned about Kim's nuclear capabilities, with attack drills held throughout the countries in recent weeks. North Korea carried out two nuclear tests previous year. North Korea is a state which has become somewhat paranoid because of its history of subjugation by the imperial Japanese before and during World War II. It cited the possibility of a failure in the test launch.

"A missile appears to have exploded within seconds of launch", Commander Dave Benham, a spokesman for U.S. Pacific Command, told Reuters.

North Korea upped the military ante with another missile test - though this time the test failed. The network cited USA officials with knowledge of recent intelligence.

North Korea has stated that its goal is to develop a nuclear device small enough to be placed on a long-range missile capable of reaching the United States.

Just last week U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson visited Japan, South Korea and China and how to handle North Korea was a major issue in his talks.

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