World News

April 15, 2016
 

Seoul says North Korean missile launch apparently fails

Foster Klug and Hyung-jin Kim
Associated Press

SEOUL, South Korea—A North Korean launch of a missile on the birthday of its revered founder appears to have failed, South Korean and U.S. defense officials said April 15.

The officials provided few details, including the type of missile, of what would be an embarrassing failure, if confirmed. The launch comes as the two Koreas trade threats amid Pyongyang’s anger over annual South Korean-U.S. military drills that North Korea calls a rehearsal for an invasion.

A recent surge in belligerent threats and nuclear and missile activity in the North may also be linked to leader Kim Jong Un’s preparations for a major ruling party meeting next month that analysts believe he will use to further solidify his autocratic rule.

The North has fired a slew of missiles and artillery shells into the sea in an apparent protest against the drills.

A senior U.S. defense official said the U.S. Strategic Command systems have detected and tracked what officials assessed as a failed North Korean missile launch.

According to the North American Aerospace Defense Command, the missile launched from North Korea did not pose a threat to North America.

The South’s Defense Ministry said it wasn’t immediately known whether the missile fired Friday morning was a short-range or mid-range missile.

The North’s launch came amid speculation in the South that its rival was preparing to test a medium-range missile with a range of 3,500 kilometers (2,180 miles) — enough to reach U.S. military installments in Japan and Guam. Foreign experts have nicknamed the missile “Musudan” after the village in the northeast where North Korea has a Launchpad.

Friday is the birthday anniversary of the late Kim Il Sung, the current leader’s grandfather and the nation’s founder. North Korea has occasionally used such celebrations to stage nuclear or missile tests that outsiders consider provocations.

North Korea has unnerved the international community this year with an escalating campaign of belligerence. This includes a nuclear test in January, its fourth, and a long-range rocket launch in February, as well as nuclear threats against the United States and Seoul.

There is debate among analysts about the exact state of the North’s nuclear capabilities — many believe Pyongyang has a handful of crude nuclear bombs — but each nuclear and missile test pushes them farther along in their goal of a nuclear-armed arsenal of long-range missiles.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines – September 17, 2018

News T-6 hypoxia problem solved, Air Force announces – The rash of hypoxia-like problems in the Air Force’s fleet of T-6 Texan II trainers was primarily caused by fluctuating concentrations of oxygen in the cockpit, the service said Sept. 13.   Military death benefits won’t be stopped by government shutdowns anymore – Military death gratuities...
 
 

News Briefs – September 17, 2018

Putin inspects war games billed as Russia’s biggest-ever Russian President Vladimir Putin inspected a week-long military exercise in eastern Siberia that involves around 300,000 troops and is being billed as Russia’s biggest-ever. Speaking at a firing range in the Chita region Sept. 13, Putin lauded the troops for their “high-level” performance and insisted the war...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Staff Sgt. Danielle Quilla

B-2s conduct hot-pit refueling at Wake Island

Air Force photograph by Staff Sgt. Danielle Quilla Crew chiefs and a fuel distribution operator deployed from Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., conduct hot-pit refueling on a B-2 Spirit at Wake Island Airfield Sept. 14, 2018. Hot-p...