Pyongyang, March 22 : According to reports, North Korea has attempted yet another missile test on Wednesday which, however, has reportedly failed, while only three days ago N. Korea had claimed to have completed the testing of a missile engine.
The reported launch failure comes as the North angrily reacts to the on-going annual US-South Korean military drills that it views as an invasion rehearsal. Earlier this month, North Korea fired four ballistic missiles that landed in waters off Japan, triggering strong protests from Seoul and Tokyo.
On Wednesday morning, the North fired a missile from the eastern coastal town of Wonsan but the launch was believed to have ended in a failure, according to a statement by the Seoul’s Defence Ministry.
The ministry said it was analysing what type of missile was launched but gave no further details. The missile is reportedly believed to have exploded in mid-air.
The US officials confirmed North Korea had attempted to launch a missile near Kalma, on the country's east coast, but early reports suggest it failed.American officials had said earlier this week that the U.S. military was expecting another North Korean missile launch in the next several days.
The officials said the U.S. had increased its surveillance over the North and had detected a North Korean missile launcher being moved, as well as the construction of VIP seating in Wonsan.
"South Korea and the US are aware of the missile launch and to their knowledge North Korea's missile was not successfully launched," South Korea's Ministry of Defence said in a statement.
North Korea is evidently pushing hard to upgrade its weapons systems to cope with what it calls ‘U.S. hostility’. Many weapons experts say the North could have a functioning nuclear-tipped missile capable of reaching the continental U.S. within a few years. The North has carried out two nuclear tests since last year.