NK's 'Outrageous' ICBM Launch Malfunctioned: South Korea

US-South now extending military exercises that irked North in the first place
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 3, 2022 7:31 AM CDT
South Korea: North's ICBM Launch Was a Fail
A TV screen shows a file image of North Korea's missile launch during a news program at the train station in Seoul, South Korea, on Wednesday.   (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon, File)

Pyongyang launched at least three missiles Thursday morning, one of them believed to be a long-range intercontinental ballistic missile, but now defense officials in Seoul are saying that latter one may have been a dud, per the Guardian. "North Korea's ICBM launch is presumed to have ended in failure," South Korea's military said, according to the Yonhap news agency. Defense sources say the ICBM, which was thought to have been fired from the North's capital around 7:30am local time, apparently suffered an in-air malfunction when the propellant and warhead parts of the missile came apart. Japan's defense minister, Yasukazu Hamada, says the missile flew about 460 miles before it fell off the radar over the East Sea, about 680 miles off the coast of Japan.

The firing of the three missiles—the other two were short-range units fired from Kaechon—spurred alerts in Japan's Miyagi, Yamagata, and Niigata prefectures for residents to take shelter. Although an initial alert indicated a missile had flown over Japan, the Japanese government later noted that wasn't the case, although a Japanese military commander notes some of the missile's debris may have passed over the country, reports Reuters. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida called the launches "outrageous" and "absolutely intolerable," and a US State Department rep said the ICBM launch breached UN Security Council resolutions. The launch came a day after North Korea, miffed at joint military exercises being held by the South and the United States, sent about two dozen short-range missiles flying at its neighbor—the most it had ever fired in one day.

Some media reports also say that one of those missiles may have even crossed over the North and South's sea border, which hasn't happened since the two nations split in 1948. South Korea retaliated by firing three air-to-surface missiles of its own, near the countries' eastern border. The US-South Korea joint military drills were originally set to end Friday, but soon after the ICBM failed, South Korea's air force said the "Vigilant Storm" exercises, which involve nearly 250 aircraft, were being extended "to demonstrate a solid combined defense posture of the bilateral alliance under the current security crisis, heightened by North Korea's provocations," per CNN. (More North Korea stories.)

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