Embarrassment for Kim Jong Un as North Korea ballistic missile test flops again

North Korea fired what appeared to have been an intermediate range ballistic missile on Thursday but it crashed seconds after the test launch. The rocket was thought to be a Musudan missile with a range of more than 3,000km - the same type of rocket believed to have failed in a test launch earlier this month. However, it crashed within seconds, officials in South Korea said. Leader Kim Jong Un is said to be rushing to show the country’s military might days ahead of a major ruling party meeting next week in Pyongyang.

They need to succeed but they keep failing. They didn’t have enough time to fix or technically modify the system, but just shot them because they were in hurry

Yang Uk, a senior research fellow at the Korea Defence and Security Forum

There had been widespread intelligence reports in recent days that the North was preparing for another flight test of a Musudan, which is capable of striking US bases on the Pacific island of Guam. It tried to launched a Musudan on April 15 – the birthday of founding leader Kim Il-Sung – but the exercise ended in what the Pentagon described as “fiery, catastrophic” failure, with the missile apparently exploding just after take-off. The latest failure will be a setback for Mr Kim, who is trying to seek credit for pushing ahead with his country’s military expansion. “They are in a rush to show anything that is successful, to meet the schedule of a political event, the party congress,” said Yang Uk, a senior research fellow at the Korea Defence and Security Forum.