Red-faced Kim Jong-un accidentally blasts OWN city in missile blunder

Credit PA

Credit PA

It is believed the rocket was launched at the Pukchang Airfield - which has not been used for ballistic missile tests before, according to reports - in April a year ago.

Satellite images show damage caused by a failed test launch that struck Tokchon, a city of 200,000 in the interior of Kim Jong-un's secretive state, according to a U.S. government official.

The Diplomat report also claimed that North Korea's missile program was more advanced than the United States and its Allies had anticipated despite the April 28 launch failure and its inherent dangers.

The Diplomat's Ankit Panda and David Schmerler, of the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, cited a USA government source as saying the missile failed a minute into flight and never went higher than 70 kilometers.

Because of the secretive nature of functioning in North Korea, many say it is not possible to completely authenticate the report but that there is evidence to show that the IRBM caused destruction in a civilian area.

However, it's said to have failed shortly after it was launched and crashed down in the city of Tokchom, causing damage to what appears to be agricultural or industrial buildings.

As per The Diplomat, the explosion had created a significant damage to the buildings in the city.

Since the failed test, North Korea has successfully launched an ICBM, and the tension between the two countries has ramped up significantly.

As The Diplomat notes, this particular missile launch didn't get much attention in the USA press at the time because all we really knew about it was the fact that it failed. And there has been times they have done it from heavily populated regions.

"The focus here is to continue ... to apply maximum pressure on North Korea", White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Saunders confirmed.

But more recent missile tests have been more successful and have travelled long distances, with some flying over parts of Japan. It is believed that the success of the missile paved way for Hwasong-14/KN20 intercontinental-range ballistic missile (ICBM), unveiled by North Korea past year.

Those threats came as North Korea held a massive parade in its capital Pyongyang on Saturday to mark the 105th anniversary of its founding father Kim Il Sung - and to showcase its military might.

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