North Korea Missile Launch Appears to Have Failed, South Korean Military Says

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
North Korean flags

SEOUL, June 26 (Reuters) – North Korea’s launch of an unknown ballistic missile toward the sea off the east coast of the Korean Peninsula appears to have failed, South Korean military said on Wednesday.

The apparent failed missile launch originated from around Pyongyang toward the sea, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said. Japan’s coast guard said a projectile believed to be the North Korean ballistic missile appeared to have already fallen.

North Korea earlier this week criticized the deployment of a U.S. aircraft carrier to join joint drills with South Korea and Japan, and warned of “overwhelming, new demonstration of deterrence.”

The nuclear-powered U.S. aircraft carrier, the Theodore Roosevelt, arrived in the South Korean port city of Busan on Saturday to take part in joint military exercises later this month with the host nation and Japan, naval officials said.

The missile launch comes a day after the 74-year anniversary of the beginning of the Korean War.

North Korean state media KCNA said on Wednesday a mass rally in Pyongyang was held to commemorate the anniversary, calling it a day of “struggle against U.S. imperialism” and calling the U.S. the arch enemy.

Recently, North Korea has been flying hundreds of balloons carrying trash toward the South including on Tuesday, while Pyongyang deployed a large squad of soldiers to build new fortifications within the heavily armed border between the two Koreas according to the South’s military, occasionally inviting warning shots from South Korean counterparts.