U.S. Strategic Command's systems detected a failed North Korean intermediate ballistic missile launch, the Pentagon said Saturday. The launch allegedly occurred near the northwestern city of Kusong.
“We strongly condemn this and North Korea’s other recent missile tests, which violate U.N. Security Council resolutions explicitly prohibiting North Korea’s launches using ballistic missile technology,” Pentagon spokesman Gary Ross reportedly said.
South Korea’s military said early Sunday the Musudan missile was fired at 03:33 GMT on Saturday (11:33 p.m. EDT on Friday) but the launch was unsuccessful. The reasons for the launch’s failure were not specified. The Musudan missile has an estimated range of up to 2,500 miles, which could reach South Korea, Japan and Guam.
Ross said that the latest launch “did not pose a threat to North America.” North Korea has not commented on this incident yet.
“This provocation only serves to increase the international community’s resolve to counter the DPRK’s prohibited activities, including through implementing existing U.N. Security Council sanctions,” Ross said. “Our commitment to the defense of our allies, including the Republic of Korea and Japan, in the face of these threats, is ironclad.”
South Korea’s office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff reportedly said: “The North’s ballistic missile launch is a clear violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions and we strongly condemn the North’s illegal act of provocation.”
Despite a U.N. ban on using ballistic and nuclear technology, North Korea has conducted several missile tests in 2016. The country conducted its fifth nuclear test last month. The reclusive nation has repeatedly said that its programs are for peaceful purposes but the U.S., South Korea and North Korea’s major ally, China, all say the latest launches are focused on developing ballistic missiles.