On Wednesday, U.S. military officials and South Korea said that North Korea attempted a missile test early Wednesday morning but it appeared to have failed almost immediately after launch. The U.S. Pacific Command spokesman, Commander Dave Benham, released a statement saying that it appears the North launched a missile and the U.S. was going to work with “interagency partners” to get a more detailed assessment.
“A missile appears to have exploded within seconds of launch,” Cmdr. Benham said in the statement. “We are working with our interagency partners on a more detailed assessment. We continue to monitor North Korea’s actions closely.”
According to NBC News, South Korean officials also confirmed the failed launch.
“We confirm that North Korea has launched one missile from Wonsan airbase this morning (KST) and failed,” a South Korean military official told NBC News. “We are in the process of analyzing the type of the missile. South Korea’s military is fully prepared for the possibility of North Korea’s additional missile launch.”
On Tuesday, North Korea’s foreign ministry touted their country’s nuclear capabilities on it’s state-run news agency Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).
“The world will soon witness what eventful significance the … recent ground jet test of Korean-style high-thrust engine will carry,” KCNA reported. “The nuclear force of [North Korea] is the treasured sword of justice and the most reliable war deterrence.”
North Korea has continued to threaten to take action against the United States and South Korea as the two nations have joined together to defend against the North’s acts of aggression.
On March 8, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK, North Korea’s official name) issued a statement threatening nuclear war against the United States and South Korea if either country fires “even a single bullet at the territory of the DPRK.”
Last week, North Korea threatened to “launch merciless ultra-precision strikes” in frustration of the Foal Eagle joint military exercises being conducted by the United States and South Korea. Over the weekend, North Korea released a new propaganda video that showed what is believed to be the USS Carl Vinson, that is partaking in the Foal Eagle exercises, engulfed in flames. It also shows a B-1B bomber engulfed in flames, and on Wednesday, the United States sent a B-1B supersonic bomber over South Korea as a show of force against the North, officials said, according to the Associated Press.
Last week, during his first trip to Asia as Secretary, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson warned that if North Korea continued to develop its nuclear weapons program that military action against the dictatorial nation would be “on the table.”