North Korea ‘tries to launch medium-range Musudan missile’

North Korea has failed to launch its Musudan missile for the fourth time, South Korea claims. The Yonhap News Agency said the North attempted to test fire the intermediate-range weapon from its east coast in the early hours. Both South Korea and the US reported three such failures in April. UN resolutions ban North Korea from any use of ballistic missile technology, although it regularly fires short-range missiles into the sea off its east coast.

We have no reports of any damage in Japan. We are gathering and analysing data. The defence ministry is prepared to respond to any situation.

Japanese Minister of Defence Gen Nakatani

The defence ministry in Seoul said the missile test took place at around 5:20 am South Korean time (2020 GMT Monday) near the eastern port city of Wonsan. "We believe that it was a failure,“ said Jeon Ha-Gyu, spokesman for the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff. "As to why and how it failed, we are in the process of analysing that and can’t give more details at the moment,” Jeon told a press briefing. In Tokyo, public broadcaster NHK said the Japanese government had put its military on pre-emptive alert Monday with orders to intercept any North Korean missile that threatened Japanese territory.