US officials say that the latest North Korean missile launch, which landed in the ocean, was a failure, saying the rocket quickly spun out of control and crashed in a ball of flame just off the east coast of the Korean Peninsula.
Officials are identifying it as a test of the so-called KN-15, the Pukguksong-2 missile which was hyped as a major improvement in North Korea’s intermediate-range missiles. Unlike that missile, tested in February, this was described as using liquid fuel, and being fired from a stationary mount.
Ironically it was the KN-15’s use of solid fuel, and its apparent mobility that had people playing it up as a major breakthrough for the North Koreans, though both of these appear to have been scrapped for the most recent test, and that test still failed.
There have been debates within the Trump Administration about the viability of cyber-attacks to try to slow the North Korean missile program, though so many of the nation’s launches end in failure at any rate, that there is considerable doubt that their advancement is really anywhere near what they are claiming.
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