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North Korea missile crashes into its own cities

05 January 2018

As per new data received, it has been learned that the missile had crashed in the city of Tokchon, around 90 miles north of the secretive communist country's capital, Pyongyang.

A North Korean test ballistic missile launched a year ago may have ended up hitting a populated city not far from Pyongyang, according to a report by news magazine The Diplomat on Wednesday (Jan 3).

Since 2008, photographer Eric Lafforgue ventured to North Korea six times.

It was launched from Pukchang Airfield in South Pyongan Province.

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The publication quoted a United States government source with knowledge of the North's weapons program as saying the missile's first stage engines failed around a minute into flight, resulting in "catastrophic failure". It was meant to soar east and splash into the Sea of Japan, where most missiles tested in Pyongyang's ongoing nuclear and military build-up end up.

Satellite imagery scanned by the authors shows damage to industrial or agricultural buildings near a residential area. The Diplomat said that contrary to reports elsewhere, the missiles launched during that April period were not anti-ship missiles but new intermediate-range ballistic missiles.

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.

"It's impossible to verify if the incident caused any loss of life and, given the time of day the test occurred and the location of the impact, it may be likely that few, if any, casualties resulted from the incident", The Diplomat pointed out.

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The global community is still unaware exactly what caused a massive explosion that devastated the city of Ryongchong in 2004, soon after then-North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il had passed through in his personal train.

NASA scientist Dr David Baker warned Kim could spark World War 3 by accidentally hitting a neighbouring country with his "imprecise" missiles.

North Korea has since conducted a flurry of nuclear and ballistic missile tests ramping up tensions on the divided Korean Peninsula. The consequences in the region could be catastrophic.

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North Korea missile crashes into its own cities