South Korea Army Says New Missile Tests by North Korea Likely Failed

Just days after the United States sent an aircraft carrier to a trilateral military exercise with Japan and South Korea, the South Korean military reported that a ballistic missile test conducted by North Korea on June 26th likely failed.

According to a statement from South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, North Korea fired a missile from the area around its capital at about 5:30 AM. The missile was reportedly fired at the eastern seas of the North; however, it is believed that the launch was unsuccessful.

No more information was provided, such as whether it was determined that the missile most likely fell to the ground or detonated while in flight. Earlier, the Japanese defense ministry said that they had also detected what they believed to be a North Korean ballistic missile.

Hours before the alleged launch, South Korea said that North Korea had floated massive balloons over the border for the second day in a row, presumably transporting garbage. Previous threats by South Korea included anti-Pyongyang propaganda broadcasts in the event of retaliation.

President Yoon Suk Yeol became the first sitting South Korean leader to get into an American aircraft carrier since 1994 when the USS Theodore Roosevelt landed in South Korea.

On board the carrier, Yoon assured the South Korean and American forces that their partnership was unmatched and capable of defeating any foe. He said the U.S. carrier would set sail for the “Freedom Edge” practice with South Korea, Japan, and the United States on Wednesday. The nations’ joint missions in air, sea, and cyberspace are the primary targets of the exercise.

On Monday, Kim Kang Il, North Korea’s VP of defense, criticized the deployment of the US aircraft carrier, calling it dangerous.  In the past, North Korea has replied with missile testing after calling for large-scale U.S.-South Korean exercises that simulated an invasion. 

In a mock preemptive strike on South Korea, Kim Jong Un oversaw the May 30 launching of multiple rocket launchers capable of delivering nuclear weapons. A few days before the practice, North Korea’s rocket carrying its 2nd spy satellite exploded shortly after liftoff.