North Korea's ballistic missile accidentally hits own city

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media caption North Korea's star ice-skating duo have qualified for the Winter Olympics

The Diplomat noted that a failed launch might explain why North Korea used Sinpo, a seaside town, to conduct at least two test launches for the Hwasong-12 missile - an errant missile crashing into the sea would be less risky than one hitting a populated area.

A new report on Wednesday revealed that North Korea accidentally bombed one of its own cities after a missile launch test failed this past April. The source said that within a minute of being in the air, the missile's first stage engines failed and caused it to crash back down to the ground. (Google Maps) The report in The Diplomat references satellite images (not the ones displayed here) that appear to show an impact crater that has apparently since been filled in.

According to CNBC, the failed missile test was previously reported but it wasn't known that a populated area was hit.

Initially, reports had suggested that the intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) had exploded into pieces in mid-flight but new evidence suggest that it in fact crashed into the city of 200,000. A nearby greenhouse was also damaged.

North Korea spent much of 2017 touting the advancements made by its missile and nuclear weapons programs, much to the rest of the world's chagrin.

At the time, the regime was busy testing an intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) named Hwasong-12 capable of reaching the US territory of Guam.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inspects the long-range strategic ballistic rocket Hwasong-12 (Mars-12) in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on May 15, 2017.

"The missile never flew higher than approximately 70 kilometres".

The unpredictability and mobility of North Korea's launches mean the U.S. or its allies would have a hard time preempting such a launch or even knowing where to look for one. The successful launch has been followed by a couple of more successful launches which has left the United States of America fuming.

The failed launch came at a time of increasing tension on the Korean peninsula and of heightened rhetoric between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump.

North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un has ordered top scientists to build the country's largest rocket yet, according to a defector.

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