North Korea Launched IRBM That Accidentally Hit Its Own City

Saul Bowman
January 5, 2018

The Hwasong KN-17 medium-range rocket was sacked from Pukchang Airfield in South Pyongan Province, 40 miles north of Pyongyang on April 28 past year, it is claimed.

One such pitfall that has come to light is the fact that in April 28, 2017, North Korea test fired a missile which went rouge and crashed into one of its own cities.

The Diplomat's Ankit Panda and David Schmerler, of the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, cited a USA government source as saying the missile failed a minute into flight and never went higher than 70 kilometers.

The blast from missile had caused a significant damage to a complex of industrial or agricultural buildings, The Diplomat magazine reported, citing a USA intelligence source alongside satellite imagery.

The Diplomat reports satellite imagery shows the missile struck a complex of industrial or agricultural facilities, located near residential and commercial buildings in Tokchon. However, it is not known whether any loss of life was reported.

If true, the report suggests the dangers of North Korean missile tests to countries beneath their flight paths, such as Japan.

Due to the engine failure it was highly likely there was a large explosion when the missile crashed into the ground, with significant damage to buildings. Apart from Hwasong-12, North Korea also developed intercontinental ballistic missile Hwasong-14 and the Hwasong-15 past year.

Strangely, similar tests had previously been undertaken at a sea side town in order to prevent any wide-scale destruction if the missile failed (a crash into the sea being preferable to a city), but in early April, new testing sites were chosen.

However, the cold relationship between South Korea and the North showed signs of thawing in the beginning of 2018.

With those changes, the US would only have a few hours to detect pre-launch preparations in the event that North Korea prepares to strike.

The missile was once again launched in May and at this time it successfully completed the test.

The North Korean regime has admitted that it is using its nuclear weapons program as a way to pressure the United States and to protect its regime. The rogue nation's leader, Kim Jong Un, claims to have the "nuclear button" on his desk at all times.

South Korean officials offered high-level talks with North Korea to find ways to cooperate on the Olympics and discuss other inter-Korean issues.

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