The South Korean military announced that North Korea fired what it described as an “unidentified projectile”, which appears to have exploded immediately after its launch.
A suspected missile was launched from an air base outside the capital, Pyongyang.
The base is the site of several launches, including previous tests the United States has claimed were ICBMs.
This comes as North Korea has stepped up its weapons testing in recent weeks.
“North Korea fired an unknown projectile from the Sunan area around 09:30 today, but it is assumed that it failed immediately after the launch,” the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Seoul, the capital of South Korea, said in a statement.
And the specialized news website NK quoted witnesses as saying that they heard in Pyongyang a sound similar to that of large planes, followed by a strong “collision”.
The website added that it had seen a picture showing red smoke in the sky over the capital.
Ankit Panda, a senior expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, told the site that this image indicates a “catastrophic failure,” adding that the “reddish-orange smoke” is related to the liquid fuel, which is “very toxic” to humans.
North Korea has conducted nine weapons tests so far this year, including tests that the United States claims are parts of a new ICBM, and that they were likely test launches before a possible launch of a full-range ICBM.
Intercontinental ballistic missiles, with a range of at least 5,500 km, can reach the United States. It is designed to carry nuclear weapons.
The United Nations has banned North Korea’s ballistic and nuclear weapons tests and imposed severe sanctions.
North Korea suspended its long-range ballistic missile and nuclear testing activities after talks with former US President Donald Trump.
However, in 2020, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un announced that he was no longer bound by that promise.
Despite this, Pyongyang confirmed that the February 26 and March 4 launches focused on developing a satellite for reconnaissance.
BBC reporter – Seoul
Each launch helps scientists know what works and what doesn’t, but this year is an important year for Kim Jong Un, because he agrees to the tenth year of his assumption of power, and he desires success, not failure.
As one expert pointed out, in what area did this launch fail?
The missile was launched from the country’s main Sunan airport, and any large explosion near the ground could damage the airport.
Also, any other explosion in the region may lead to the fall of debris on populated areas, and we will know more details after the analysis of the ministries of defense in the United States and South Korea.
In either case, this failure is unlikely to deter North Korea, as Kim Jong-un has a list of weapons he would like to have. He will go ahead with his efforts to get it.
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