North Korea Fails in First Missile Launch Since Party Congress

North Korean Missile Launch Fails
  • Missile may have been mid-range ballistic Musudan, Yonhap says
  • North Korea held first party congress in 36 years in early May

North Korea attempted to launch what may have been a Musudan ballistic missile, its first effort since a ruling party congress earlier this month that tightened leader Kim Jong Un’s grip on power.

The launch took place at 5:20 a.m. Tuesday and appeared to have failed, South Korea’s Defense Ministry said in a text message, without giving further details. North Korean rockets have in the past exploded in the air.

Yonhap News said the missile appeared to have been a mid-range ballistic missile known as the Musudan. The missile is estimated to have a range of 3,000 kilometers (1,800 miles), making U.S. bases in Japan and Guam potential targets even though doubts continue over its accuracy.

North Korea failed in a missile launch on April 15. The regime is banned from testing ballistic missiles under United Nations Security Council resolutions.

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