'Considerable Damage': N Korea Reportedly Hit Own City With Ballistic Missile

KOREAN GOVERNMENT VIA KCNA AND KNS JAPAN OUT UNTIL 14 DAYS AFTER THE DAY OF TRANSMISSION AP PROVIDES ACCESS TO THIS HANDOUT

North Korea may have accidentally hit one of its own cities with a ballistic missile past year.

A report in The Independent quoted USA officials as saying that the Hwasong-12 ballistic missile landed in Tokchon - about 150 kilometers from Pyongyang - after being launched on April 28 of previous year.

The official, who is described as having knowledge of North Korea's weapons programmes, told the Diplomat that the missile's flight lasted just one minute before suffering engine malfunction and travelling 25 miles northeast before crashing down.

The missile crashed within minutes after taking off, in the city of Tokchon in North Korea, damaging industrial and agricultural buildings near the vicinity of the crash site.

The Daily Mail noted that the city of Tokchon is inhabited by about 200,000 people. The second image seems to show a crater and damages to the structure that did not exist in the first screenshot.

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.

Another North Korea missile launch had failed before Pence's landed in Seoul, but that came from the seaside town of Sinpo and any early in-flight failure over the ocean would mean there was a low chance of hitting populated urban areas.

SEE CAPTION FOR MORE INFORMATION  South Korea OUT  REPUBLIC OF KOREA OUT--EDITORS NOTE- RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE- MANDATORY CREDIT
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attends a meeting last year

Earlier in the month North Korea had threatened the United States with "nuclear justice" and "thermonuclear war".

Since the earliest days of ballistic missiles by Nazi Germany in World War II, the most risky moments in missile tests and firing are the launch and immediate post-launch phases.

The revelation that the missile hit an unintended target raises new questions about the possibility that North Korea could accidentally start a nuclear war if an errant missile were to hit a country like Japan or South Korea.

Kim Jong Un conducted 16 missile tests since February 2017, firing 23 various missiles.

As The Diplomat notes, this particular missile launch didn't get much attention in the U.S. press at the time because all we really knew about it was the fact that it failed.

It failed to reach heights of 70km before it caused a large explosion, and it is not known if there was any loss of life. South Korea warned: "the show of force threatened the whole world".

Things on the Korean Peninsula have been seemingly quiet lately.

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