May 02, 2016 10:03
A ballistic missile whose launch from a submarine on April 23 North Korea described as an "enormous success" in fact blew up in mid-air, a military officer here said Sunday.
The missile flew about 30 km but exploded and split into several pieces, he said.
The official [North] Korea's Central News Agency said the following day the launch was aimed at increasing the reliability of separation and accuracy of the warhead's detonation device.
But the first and second boosters never separated, apparently due to a technical problem, and the accuracy of the detonation device is moot.
Some civilian missile experts speculated that the missile was only fueled for 30 km, but the military here said an observation ship was spotted scores of kilometers from the point of explosion, suggesting the regime had hoped it would fly much farther.
That brings the North's failed ballistic missile launches in recent days to three after land-launched Musudan missiles also exploded on April 15 and 28.
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