Failed missile test hits North Korean town

Kim Jong-un fired a missile into one of his own cities

GETTY BLAST Kim Jong-un fired a missile into one of his own cities

Observers are also anxious that neighboring countries may regard it as an act of provocation or war should North Korean missiles and rockets veer off course and hit unintended foreign targets in South Korea, Japan or even China.

The Hwasong KN-17 medium-range rocket was sacked from Pukchang Airfield in South Pyongan Province, 40 miles north of Pyongyang on April 28 previous year, it is claimed.

North Korea conducted a missile test on April 28, 2017 that didn't go quite as planned. It flew 24 miles into the air in the northeastern direction before striking a complex of industrial or agricultural facilities in Tokchon.

Photos seen exclusively by The Diplomat show there was no such damage to the buildings before the test on April 28.

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.

The government source could not say if anyone was injured or killed in the blast but satellite photos of the area revealed the scope of the impact as well as damage to a nearby greenhouse.

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The failed Hwasong-12 missile test was reported widely at the time by various media outlets around the world, but details of where it ended up remained a mystery until now.

One persistent claim from the West is that despite North Korea's clear improvements in missile technology, it remains unreliable, which could pose even more of a danger to life. So such a failure has the chance of catastrophic disaster in the future. However, according to reports, North Korea discarded Sinpo as a ballistic testing site after April for some reason.

Another danger pointed out by The Diplomat comes from North Korea's newly demonstrated ability to carry out surprise tests. This means the chances of such accidents happening in Pyongyang or its surrounding inhabitable areas remain high.

A successful launch took place in July.

In November a successful Intercontinental Ballistic Missile launch, the massive Hwasong-15 that led Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to label North Korea "a criminal nation", proved Kim Jong-un could reach "all parts of the U.S. mainland", the communist state claimed.

North Korea's incessant missile testing throughout 2017 escalated tension with the USA; and by the looks of it, 2018 is not going to be any better. Pyongyang had not responded to his outreach until Kim's New Year's address.

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