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North Korea's latest missile launch ends in failure - US, S.Korean intel

North Korea's latest missile launch ends in failure - US, S.Korean intelNorth Korea's latest missile launch ended in failure on Wednesday, the U.S. and South Korean militaries said.

This is reported by Associated Press.

Only three days earlier, the North had claimed a major breakthrough in its rocket development program, after firing four ballistic missiles that landed in waters off Japan, thus triggering strong protests from Seoul and Tokyo.

The American military detected what it assessed as a failed North Korean missile launch on Wednesday morning, the U.S. Pacific Command said in a statement. It said the missile "appears to have exploded within seconds of launch."

South Korea's Defense Ministry said it also believes the launch from the eastern coastal town of Wonsan ended in failure. It said it was analysing what type of missile was launched.

The failure might mean that the missile is a newly developed one the North has not deployed, according to South Korean media. Last year, the country suffered a series of embarrassing failed launches of its new medium-range Musudan missile before it successfully test-fired one.

American defence officials had said Tuesday that the U.S. military was expecting another North Korean missile launch in the next several days. The officials said the U.S. had increased its surveillance over the North and had detected a North Korean missile launcher being moved, as well as the construction of VIP seating in Wonsan.

North Korean state media said Sunday that it had conducted a ground test of a new type of high-thrust rocket engine, which it hailed as a breakthrough for the country's space program. Washington, Seoul and others view the North's space program as a cover for its banned long-range missile development program.

North Korea is pushing hard to upgrade its weapons systems to cope with what it calls U.S. hostility. Many weapons experts say the North could have a functioning nuclear-tipped missile capable of reaching the continental U.S. within a few years. North Korea carried out two nuclear tests last year.
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