Seoul: N. Korea’s Launch of Musudan Missile Ends in Failure Again

Seoul, – North Korea launched an intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) on Thursday, but the launch ended in failure again, Seoul’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said. “According to a joint assessment by Seoul and Washington, North Korea launched a ballistic missile at 7 a.m. near an airfield in the northwestern city of Kusong. The missile is assumed to be the Musudan,” the JCS said in a text message, cited by Yonhap news agency.

Kusong is near the North’s “Dongchang-ri” or “Sohae” missile launch site. The JCS said the missile launch appears to be an attempt by the North to repair the loss of face from the failed Musudan launch less than a week ago. “We strongly condemn the North’s continued provocative actions and are fully prepared to counter any further provocations,” it said.

The confirmation comes after the US Strategic Command announced it detected the launch of an IRBM earlier in the day. “US Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) systems detected what we assess was a failed North Korean missile launch,” the command said in a statement. “The missile is presumed to be a Musudan missile,” it said. “The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) determined the missile launch from North Korea did not pose a threat to North America”.

The Musudan, which can be launched from a mobile launcher, is estimated to have a range of over 3,000 kilometers and is theoretically capable of reaching the US territory of Guam.

The latest launch is the eighth Musudan missile fired off this year by the reclusive country. Of the eight, a missile launched on June 22 flew 400 km and reached an altitude of over 1,400 km. Others blew up shortly after being launched, which may indicate that Pyongyang has not fully mastered related missile technology.

The North’s aggressive launch schedule despite repeated failures clearly shows its determination to achieve its stated goal of developing a nuclear-armed, long-range ballistic missile program that could hit the US mainland, security experts said.

The latest Musudan test came on the occasion of the annual security and alliance talks being held in Washington between South Korea and the US In the talks, the allies are expected to come up with detailed measures to counter ever-growing nuclear and missile threats from North Korea.

Source: Qatar News Agency