A “US government source” reportedly claims North Korea hit one of its own cities in a failed missile launch last year.
The Diplomat reports a single Hwasong-12/KN17 intermediate-range ballistic missile launched from Pukchang Airfield in South Pyongan Province on April 28 crashed in the city of Tokchan.
It caused “considerable damage to a complex of industrial or agricultural buildings”, according to The Diplomat’s government source.
Apparently the damage can be seen in “commercially available satellite imagery from April and May 2017”. The Diplomat has the before-and-after images here.
Fortunately, it looks like the damage was confined to an industrial facility and greenhouse, but there appears to be residential buildings within the same shot frames.
The damage was caused by the explosion which occurred when the missile’s liquid propellant and oxidiser mixed on impact. Obviously, it raises concerns about the possibility any one of Kim Jong Un’s tests could go awry and maybe next time crash in South Korea or Japan, potentially sparking a nuclear war.
Since the failed test, North Korea has successfully launched an ICBM, and the tension between the two countries has ramped up significantly.
The failed April 28 test was the first run of the so-called “March 18 revolution” engine which, after it survived a successful run on its fourth attempt in May, became the platform for the ICBM launch.
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