In April, Pyongyang launched a Hwasong-12 intermediate-range ballistic missile that failed shortly after launch and ended up hitting the city of Tokchon, roughly two hours from the capital, The Diplomat reported on Wednesday.
A "US government source" reportedly claims North Korea hit one of its own cities in a failed missile launch a year ago. The Diplomat magazine quoted a source in the United States intelligence wing as saying that the missile exploded on impact and caused extensive damage to industrial and.or agricultural buildings where it crashed.
The unpredictability and mobility of North Korea's launches mean the USA or its allies would have a hard time preempting such a launch or even knowing where to look for one.
Although the images show that the explosion caused considerable damage in the heavily populated area, there is no way to tell if the crash led to casualties.
The missile reportedly hit a North Korean city called Tokchon, about 40 miles north of Pyongyang, and a complex containing industrial or agricultural buildings was reportedly damaged in the process.
These included "ground disturbances in an area that previously contained a building with fencing" and damage to a greenhouse on the complex.
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Customs says that passengers continued to be processed during the outage, "using alternative procedures at affected airports". One person tweeted that Miami Airport is "total chaos" while another said the lengthy lines at JFK "are horrible".
North Korea was apparently been unfazed by their string of failures, as the isolated regime chose to begin test-firing intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) in November.
"However, as the Google Earth imagery of the incident demonstrates, the Tokchon facility is located adjacent to what appear to be residential and commercial buildings".
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. And there has been times they have done it from heavily populated regions.
Earlier in the month North Korea had threatened the U.S. with "nuclear justice" and "thermonuclear war".
But more recent missile tests have been more successful and have travelled long distances, with some flying over parts of Japan. Apart from Hwasong-12, North Korea also developed intercontinental ballistic missile Hwasong-14 and the Hwasong-15 previous year.
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.
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