North Korea's Latest Missile Test Failed 'Within Seconds'

Park Yeon-mi and Kim Jong-Il

South Korea's defense ministry came under fire on Thursday for its alleged failure to disclose information promptly on North Korea's latest missile launch which apparently ended in failure.

In February, North Korea launched a new solid-fueled rocket missile that traveled 310 miles into the Sea of Japan.

According to the US Pacific Command, a North Korean missile fired Wednesday exploded "within seconds of launch".

North Korea may be just days away from carrying out its sixth nuclear weapons test, a US media outlet said Friday, citing unnamed government officials.

This includes developing a "pre-emptive first strike capability" and an inter-continental ballistic missile, said Choe Myong Nam, deputy ambassador at the DPRK (North Korean) mission to the United Nations in Geneva.

Two US defense officials told CNN the engine could possibly be used in an eventual intercontinental ballistic missile, but it was unclear if that was its eventual goal.

"We've said that many, many times", he added. The missile launch took place near Kalma, on North Korea's east coast. Recent provocations are probably a prelude to the launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile, according to a South Korean foreign ministry statement. Speaking at a March 21 debate on U.S. nuclear policy organized by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, White House Senior Director for Weapons of Mass Destruction and Counter-Proliferation Christopher Ford said the people examining North Korea policy were "look [ing] at the whole spectrum of possibilities".

He went on to state that it was up to North Korea when and where it tests the missiles it builds.

On Monday, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met Chinese President Xi Jinping - who he hopes will help to curb North Korea's nuclear weapons programme. The ICBM component to the North Korean nuclear weapons program is very important because it allows them to threaten nations such as the U.S.by being able to strike anywhere such as NY or the White House. North Korea carried out two nuclear tests a year ago.

North Korea is believed to be working to develop nuclear-tipped missiles that can reach the United States mainland, but experts believe it is still several years away from that capability.

Neither the United States nor South Korea have released information on what type of missile was sacked, or why it failed.

Earlier this month, David Albright - head of the Institute for Science and International Security think tank - told The Algemeiner that paying attention to any potential nuclear collaboration between North Korea and Iran should be a priority for the Trump administration.

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