North Korean missile explodes in failed test, Seoul says
A North Korean missile exploded on Wednesday in a failed test, according to South Korea’s military.
An unnamed South Korean military official told The Associated Press the missile blew up when it was less than 20 kilometers in the air. The official said the source of the explosion was not known.
South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the North launched the missile at roughly 9:30 a.m., but did not reveal any other information, according to the AP.
The U.S. Indo-Pacific Command also recognized North Korea’s missile test but did not establish if it was a failed launch, writing in a statement on Wednesday that it is aware of the test and is consulting closely with Korea, Japan and other regional allies and partners.
The command condemned the launch, but noted that it did not present an immediate threat to the U.S.
“The United States condemns these actions and calls on the DPRK to refrain from further destabilizing acts. While we have assessed that this event does not pose an immediate threat to U.S. personnel, territory, or that of our allies, we will continue to monitor the situation,” the command wrote in a statement.
“The United States will continue to take all necessary measures to ensure the security of the U.S. homeland and our allies. The U.S. commitment to the defense of the [Republic of Korea] and Japan, remains ironclad,” the command added.
The missile test was the tenth such launch by North Korea this year, according to the AP.
Pyongyang in February and earlier this month tested a “relatively new” intercontinental ballistic missile system, which a senior Biden administration official called a “serious escalation.” The last time the North had tested an intercontinental ballistic missile before February was in 2017.
The U.S. Indo-Pacific Command announced on Tuesday that in response to the increased missile tests by Pyongyang, the U.S. military conducted an aircraft carrier-led exercise in the Yellow Sea and bolstered air defense artillery drills at a base in South Korea.