North Korea conducted a missile test launch on Sunday which "blew up almost immediately", the United states Pacific Command said. The launch was conducted hours after Pyongyang paraded its ballistic missiles and other high technology weaponry during the celebration of its founder's day on Saturday.
The missile was launched a few hours before the US Vice-President Mike Pence was scheduled to arrive in South Korea for talks on the North's increasingly ambitious and defiant arms programme, Reuters reported.
"The North attempted to launch an unidentified missile from near the Sinpo region this morning but it is suspected to have failed," South Korea's Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement.
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The North Korean state TV on Saturday showed several KN-08 missiles being rolled out on trucks at the parade. According to military analysts, these missiles could one day be capable of hitting targets as far as the continental United States. Kim has warned the US of launching a pre-emptive nuclear strike, if the US nuclear forces mobilise against it.
North Korean soldiers also exhibited large rockets covered by canisters which were rolled out in two different types of transporter erector launcher trucks, or TELs.
Shirtly after North Korea's failed missile launch, South Korea warned the North of punitive action if the launch led to further provocations like a nuclear test or a long-range missile launch.
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"North Korea showing a variety of offensive missiles at yesterday's military parade and daring to fire a ballistic missile today is a show of force that threatens the whole world," South Korea's Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
North Korea has carried out a total of five nuclear tests so far, and according to an expert satellite imagery analysis Pyongyang may be preparing for a sixth test soon.
A United States nuclear-powered Navy carrier strike group is also heading towards the Korean Peninsula as America strengthens its defences against North Korea's elevating nuclear threats.
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