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N Korean military confirms Musadan missile's failed test fire; cites explosion after lift-off

The South Korean Military Has Confirmed That An Immediate Explosion Just After Launch Was Reason Of Failure Behind North Korea's Latest Test-firing Of A Powerful Medium-range Missile 'Musudan'.

PTI | Updated on: 17 Oct 2016, 01:20:04 PM
Musadan missile test fire (source: The Japan Times)


The South Korean Military has confirmed that an immediate explosion just after launch was reason of failure behind North Korea's latest test-firing of a powerful medium-range missile 'Musudan'.

North Korea tested a Musudan missile - capable of hitting US bases as far away as Guam - shortly after October 15 mid day near an air base in the north-western city of Kusong.

Such launches are usually reported within a few hours or even minutes by South Korean and US military monitors, but the news of  October 15's test only came out around 16 hours after the event.

"North Korea's missile launch failed shortly after liftoff so a considerable amount of time was needed to analyze it," a South Korean Joint Chief of Staff official told reporters.

A defense ministry spokesman confirmed the missile exploded soon after lift-off, in the very initial stage of the launch.

First unveiled as an indigenous missile at a military parade in Pyongyang in October 2010, the Musudan has an oretical range of anywhere between 2,500 and 4,000 kilometres.

The lower estimate covers the whole of South Korea and Japan, while the upper range would include US military bases on Guam.

After a string of five failed launches, North Korea test fired a Musudan in June that flew 400 kilometres into the Sea of Japan (East Sea). October 15's test was the first since then.

The June 2016 flight had been hailed by leader Kim Jong-Un as proof of the North's ability to strike US bases across "the Pacific operation theatre".

US weapons analysts say successful Musudan testing could help the nuclear-armed North develop an operational intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of striking the US mainland by 2020.

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First Published : 17 Oct 2016, 12:36:00 PM