It’s the ninth weapons test by Pyongyang since the start of the year and the second this mont
People watch a news program on North Korea’s missile test at a train station in Seoul, South Korea. © AP / Lee Jin-man
North Korea fired an “unidentified projectile” on Wednesday, but it appears to have failed moments after takeoff, the South Korean military has said.
Reports of a botched missile test by Pyongyang first appeared in Japanese media and were later echoed by Seoul.
“North Korea fired an unknown projectile… but it is presumed that it failed immediately after launch,” the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement.
According to the statement, the launch took place in an area near the airport of Pyongyang, which was the site of several earlier tests of what the US claims were intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).
NK News website, which follows events in North Korea, said witnesses reported hearing a loud “blowing” sound – similar to that of a large plane – and the sound of a loud “crash” after that. There were also images available of a smoke cloud in the sky above the North Korean capital, the outlet added.
The US Indo-Pacific Command later said that it was a ballistic missile launch, while urging the North to “refrain from further destabilizing acts.”
Pyongyang is believed to have carried out a record nine weapons tests this year, with the latest staged on March 5.