In an area of the world that has generated a plethora of the media’s attention lately, North Korea is in the headlines again. Having been the subject of potential missile and nuclear attacks, the communist country has made the news not by an attack, but by an accident that occurred.
A missile has reportedly crashed into one of its very own cities, failing just minutes after its launch. The Hwasong-12 intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) initially was thought to have disintegrated mid-flight, however, new data proves that it landed in one of its own residential cities. Just 90 miles north of its own capital, the city of Tokchon, home to 200,000 citizens, endured an accidental missile that fell from above.
Likely to have exploded on impact, the missile ended up “causing significant damage to a complex of industrial or agricultural buildings” reported The Diplomat magazine. Satellite imagery, along with a US intelligence source provided the evidence of the damage. Having launched from the Pukchang airfield, it flew 24 miles northeast, before falling below. US government officials report that the missile failed only a minute after its launch, which was unpredicted.
Such missiles cause massive explosions when they fail, which satellite images from Google Earth prove to be true, after tests show imagery of a cleared area where a building was located before, along with damage to a greenhouse due to debris from the explosion. At this time, there are no reported deaths from the accidental strike due to the very secretive nature of the North Korean government.
Whether this was a planned attack or not remains to be determined, as North Korea gives no warnings before its tests, which leaves countries with little time to know or prepare. The communist country has been launching missiles over Japan since the summer of 2017, and had this been launched in that direction, it would give a clearer indication as to if this was an intended attack or not. Japan’s Prime Minister has recently warned that the security situation that his country currently faces is the worst it’s been since World War 2, due to North Korea’s ongoing “unacceptable provocations”. Shinzo Abe, the current Prime Minister, vows to bolster the country’s defences, stating “By raising pressure on North Korea, together with the international community, I intend to do my utmost to solve North Korea’s nuclear, missiles and abduction issues.”
The US ambassador to the United Nations reported that the US has lately been hearing of more missile attacks to be launched, with military officials adding to NBC News that another launch was “possible, if not likely, in the coming days, or the near future. This comes after the questionable tweet that President Donald Trump released, mocking Kim Jong-un and declaring that his nuclear button is “bigger and more powerful”, and actually “works”.
It isn’t a safe time in North Korea, with surrounding provocations only intensifying the situation. It is unclear and unpredictable as to what is next to come, as the regime continues to downpour questionable military decisions that are leaving its neighbours, and own citizens, in inevitable fear and danger.
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