North Korea’s Long-Range Missile Fails After Liftoff

Defying international pressure, North Korea launched a long-range missile Friday morning. However, U.S. officials say they believe the attempted launch failed before the missile was able to leave the Earth’s atmosphere.

U.S. officials confirm that a North Korean long-range missile appears to have broken apart midair after launch. Officials say they believe the missile fell apart within the Earth’s atmosphere before crashing into the sea. South Korea’s Defense Ministry first reported the launch, which is seen as defying international warnings and widely viewed as a provocation from the rogue state. The U.N. Security Council will meet Friday to discuss a response to the North’s attempted launch.


South Korean and U.S. intelligence reports say the launch was made from the west coast launch pad in the hamlet of Tongchang-ri. The launch comes after weeks of speculation regarding the possible launch, which North Korea’s government says was being done to send a weather satellite into orbit. If true, it would represent the third failed attempt by North Korea to send a satellite into space since 1998.

North Korea says it was timing the launch to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the birth of the country’s former leader, Kim Il Sung, which they are celebrating Sunday. However, most observers say the launch is actually tied to the country’s missile program. Japan has already given its military clearance to shoot down the rocket if it crosses into Japanese airspace.

There was no word from North Korea’s capital, Pyongyang, about the launch. North Korean television was reportedly broadcasting popular folk music at the time of the launch and has only said it will offer an announcement on the launch “soon.”

Source: Yahoo News

Image: Times 24/7

South Korea Holds Military Drill Despite Threats from North

South Korea fired live artillery on Monday in a military drill near the country’s heavily armed border with North Korea, which has described the exercise as a provocation.

The drill Monday involved howitzers, mortars and attack helicopters, South Korean news agency Yonhap reported. It took place on islands off the west coast of the Korean peninsula where tensions have flared in the past. Seoul notified the North on Sunday of the drill, a regular live-fire exercise that lasts an hour. About 1,000 island residents were moved to safe areas during the drill, Yonhap reported, citing military officials.


In late 2010, North Korea responded to a South Korean military exercise in the same area by firing artillery at Yeonpyeong Island, killing two South Korean marines and two civilians. The death in December of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il and the subsequent anointment of his son and chosen successor, Kim Jong Un, has created uncertainty about the future direction of the secretive regime in Pyongyang.

Further tensions over military maneuvers on the Korean peninsula are expected in the coming weeks. There are two joint exercises planned involving thousands of U.S. and South Korean forces scheduled between February and April.

Source: CNN

Image: The Guardian