International desk – An attempted missile launch by North Korea on Sunday failed, media reports said quoting officials in the US and South Korean defense.
The attempted launch occurred a day after the regime of Kim Jong Un showed off a bevy of new missiles and launchers at a large-scale military parade on its most important holiday, according to CNN.
A South Korean defense official said the action took place in Sinpo, a port city in eastern North Korea.
That was the site of a ballistic missile test earlier this month in which the projectile fell into the Sea of Japan, also known as the East Sea.
The North Koreans use Sinpo shipyard for their submarine activity, and US satellites have observed increased activity there in April, a US official said at the time of the previous test.
South Korean and US intelligence officials are trying to determine what type of missile was used Sunday.
North Korea’s actions come as tensions on the Korean Peninsula have spiked to alarming levels.
The US Navy dispatched the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson strike group to the region last weekend, and Trump has been tweeting this week that if China can’t rein in North Korea’s nuclear program, the United States will.
The group brought ships that could shoot down missiles that North Korea has been testing.
“I think the (Trump) administration anticipated that a ballistic missile launch would occur, and I have to wonder whether they were prepared to use the ships that are with that carrier group to shoot down that missile” as long as the ships were positioned in the right spots, Bennett said.
The latest development comes as US Vice-President Mike Pence heads to the South Korean capital, Seoul, where he is expected to discuss the best way to deal with North Korea’s missile and nuclear programmes., according to BBC.
Mike Pence’s long-planned 10-day trip marks his first official visit to the region, where he is expected to reaffirm the US commitment to stand by its regional allies.
Pence is headed to Asia this weekend, with planned stops in Seoul; Jakarta, Indonesia; Tokyo and Sydney.
Analysts had expected North Korea to conduct a nuclear missile test around the time of his visit, possibly on Saturday as the nation celebrated the 105th birthday of its founder — Kim II Sung, the late grandfather of North Korea’s current leader.
The status of the North Korean underground nuclear test program is unchanged, a senior US defense official told CNN, and a test could come at any time.
The reported failed test comes at a time of year when North Korea has previously tried to launch missiles.
Last year, Pyongyang attempted to launch a Musudan missile on April 15, an auspicious date on which millions celebrate Kim II Sung’s birthday.
That test also failed, as there was “no evidence the missile reached flight,” a US official told CNN.