The launch of a North Korean intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on Thursday, which was one of a record-breaking number of weapons tests conducted by Pyongyang in the previous 24 hours, looks to have failed, according to Seoul’s military.
“North Korea’s ICBM launch presumed to have ended in failure,” Seoul’s military said, adding that it was “assessed to have failed in second stage separation.”
The launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) and two short-range ballistic missiles were both detected, according to Seoul’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, early on Thursday.
“The range of the long-range ballistic missile is around 760 kilometers, altitude of 1,920 kilometers at speed of Mach 15,” the military said.
“The short-range ballistic missiles flew around 330 kilometers at an altitude of around 70 kilometers at speed of Mach 5.
“North Korea’s successive launch of ballistic missiles is a serious provocation that harms the peace and stability of not only the Korean Peninsula but also the international community,” the military said.
“The South Korean military will maintain a firm readiness posture to overwhelmingly respond to any provocation from North Korea.”
The launches occur as hundreds of warplanes from both sides participate in Vigilant Storm, the largest-ever joint air drill between Seoul and Washington. They’ll finish on Friday.
Pyongyang has called the US-South Korean air exercise, “an aggressive and provocative military drill targeting the DPRK,” and warned that, if it continues, Seoul and Washington will “pay the most horrible price in history.”
On Wednesday, North Korea launched more than 20 missiles, one of which struck close to South Korea’s territorial seas and was described as “effectively a territorial invasion” by Seoul.
North Korea is thought to have failed in a March effort to test-fire the Hwasong-17, the largest and most potent ICBM in Kim Jong Un’s arsenal.
At the moment, Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea, was visible in the sky above the missile explosion, according to reports from Seoul and Washington.
According to Seoul’s military at the time, a more ICBM test is thought to have failed in May.