An early Saturday attempt at a ballistic missile test by North Korea ended as so many others have in recent weeks, failing and exploding almost immediately after takeoff, according to US officials who were monitoring the situation.
Officials say the missile was believed to be a short-range missile, which would’ve had the range to hit South Korea, but not Japan. The US presented the failed test as a “further military provocation,” despite the attempted launch not even getting the missile out of North Korea’s own territory.
Calling tests “provocations” is a go-to response for the US, and that appears to have continued despite the US, just a few days ago, testing its own nuclear-capable long-range ICBM, firing it some 4,000 miles from California to an atoll near the Marshall Islands.
The latest test is likely to add to the US efforts to get the THAAD missile defense installed in South Korea, despite President Trump’s unsuccessful attempt to convince the South Korean government to pay him for it. The system is designed to shoot down such missiles, though even in test environments under perfect conditions, it has shown limited success in doing so.
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