North Korea missile launch fails, South Korean military says

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North Korea’s launch of an unknown ballistic missile toward the sea off the east coast of the Korean Peninsula appears to have failed, South Korean military said on Wednesday.

North Korea earlier this week criticised the deployment of a US aircraft carrier to join joint drills with South Korea and Japan, and warned of “overwhelming, new demonstration of deterrence”.

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The apparent failed missile launch originated from around Pyongyang, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said. Japan’s coast guard said a projectile believed to be the North Korean ballistic missile appeared to have already fallen.

Japan’s Defence Ministry said the missile flew to an altitude of about 100 kms (62 miles) and range of more than 200 kms. It appeared to be a failed test of a hypersonic missile, Yonhap News Agency said citing an unnamed military source. North Korea’s last missile firing was on May 30.

The missile launch comes a day after the 74-year anniversary of the beginning of the Korean War.

North Korean state media KCNA said on Wednesday a mass rally in Pyongyang was held to commemorate the anniversary, calling it a day of “struggle against US imperialism” and calling the US the arch enemy.

Recently, North Korea has been flying hundreds of balloons carrying trash toward the South including on Tuesday, while Pyongyang deployed a large group of soldiers to build new fortifications within the heavily armed border between the two Koreas according to the South’s military, occasionally inviting warning shots from South Korean counterparts.

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