By Kanga Kong
SEOUL, South Korea – North Korea attempted to fire an unidentified missile Sunday morning, but the test likely failed, according to South Korea’s military.
South Korea is conducting further analysis of the launch at Sinpo, the nation’s joint chiefs of staff said in a text message. U.S. Vice President Mike Pence is scheduled to arrive in Seoul on Sunday for a previously planned trip to Asia.
The incident occurred a day after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un oversaw an elaborate military parade in the center of Pyongyang as the world watched for any provocations that risk sparking a conflict with the Trump administration. Kim’s regime has test-fired several ballistic missiles this year in his quest to develop a device that can carry a nuclear warhead to North America.
President Donald Trump this month dispatched a warship fleet toward the Korean Peninsula as the U.S. weighed retaliation for any missile or nuclear test. Trump has threatened to act unilaterally if China – North Korea’s main ally and benefactor – fails to do more to curb its neighbor’s activities.
Kim showed off a range of missiles at the parade on Saturday, including submarine-launched ballistic missiles for the first time and what appeared to be a new intercontinental ballistic missile, South Korea’s Yonhap News reported. In 2012, North Korea unveiled long-range missiles that some arms analysts dismissed as fake.
Here is a timeline of North Korea’s ballistic missile launches this year:
- Feb. 12: Fires a solid-fuel missile that travels about 310 miles, drawing a joint rebuke from Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at a summit in Florida.
- March 6: Launches four projectiles that reach as far as Japan’s exclusive economic zone.
- March 22: Tests a missile that fails.
- April 5: Fires a missile that flies about 37 miles on the eve of Trump’s first meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Kim has launched dozens of projectiles and conducted three nuclear tests since he came to power after his father’s death in 2011, and claimed in January to be in the final stages of preparations to test-fire an intercontinental ballistic missile.