Second ballistic missile test in a week ends in failure for North Korea

North Korea appears to have conducted another test of a powerful medium-range missile - but it ended in failure for the second time in days. The secretive state’s missile – believed to be an intermediate-range Musudan – exploded shortly after take-off on Wednesday, monitors said. It was the second failed launch in less than a week of the Musudan, which has a range of between 2,500 and 4,000 km (1,500 and 2,500 miles) and could, in theory, reach the U.S. Cho June-hyuck, a spokesman for South Korea’s foreign ministry, said the launches showed North Korea’s “fanatical obsession” with nuclear weapons and missile developments.

Such repeated provocations only aggravate North Korea’s isolation from the international community

Cho June-hyuck, South Korea foreign ministry spokesman

The launch was attempted near an airport in North Korea’s Pyongan province, where a similar test ended in failure on Saturday, according to military officials in the South. Again, the latest test brought worldwide condemnation. “Our commitment to the defence of our allies, including the Republic of Korea and Japan, in the face of these threats, is ironclad,” said Pentagon spokesman Gary Ross. South Korean president Park Geun-Hye said the North was “blatantly threatening” the entire region. Meanwhile, the North vowed through its state-run TV channel on Wednesday to continue launching satellites as part of its peaceful space development plans.

f they continue at this rate, the Musudan intermediate-range ballistic missile could enter operational service sometime next year – much sooner than had previously been expected

John Schilling, aerospace engineer