Did N.Korean missile hit own city? By


A report in The Independent quoted United States officials as saying that the Hwasong-12 ballistic missile landed in Tokchon - about 150 kilometers from Pyongyang - after being launched on April 28 of a year ago.

One such missile reportedly hit one of North Korean cities minutes after it was launched. The Diplomat magazine quoted a source in the U.S. intelligence wing as saying that the missile exploded on impact and caused extensive damage to industrial and.or agricultural buildings where it crashed.

As per a USA government source, the first stage engines of the missile failed around a minute after the launch.

Satellite imagery scanned by the authors shows damage to industrial or agricultural buildings near a residential area.

The unnamed source said the missile may have been destined to go down in the Sea of Japan, near the Russian coast, where its first Hwasong-12 test rocket landed in May 2017. The structural damage was independently confirmed by The Diplomat using publicly available satellite photos.

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As for what this means for the US, the Diplomat explained that rather than coming from known launch pads, DPRK missiles may originate from hardened tunnels, hangers or other newly constructed storage sites scattered all around the country, which has added to and diversified its list of launch points. And there has been times they have done it from heavily populated regions. The North's latest successful missile test involved a Hwasong-15, a model believed to be intercontinental - that is, having the capacity of flying over 5,500km.

The revelation that the missile hit an unintended target raises new questions about the possibility that North Korea could accidentally start a nuclear war if an errant missile were to hit a country like Japan or South Korea. In his New Year's Day message, Kim Jong Un said that the nuclear button is always in his reach. "Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger and more powerful one than his, and my Button works!" the US President tweeted.

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.

South Korean officials offered high-level talks with North Korea to find ways to cooperate on the Olympics and discuss other inter-Korean issues.

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