Did North Korean missile hit a city near Pyongyang last April?

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The launch of a Hwasong-14 intercontinental ballistic missile in North Korea last year

The launch - from Pukchang Airfield in South Pyongan Province - is said to have gone awry soon after takeoff, with a US source telling The Diplomat the missile's "first stage" engines failed after about 60 seconds.

According to USA government sources quoted in The Diplomat, an online magazine, the intermediate range Hwasong-12 missile veered off course after being fired from the Pukchang Airfield on April 28 past year.

However, it's said to have failed shortly after it was launched and crashed down in the city of Tokchom, causing damage to what appears to be agricultural or industrial buildings.

The Daily Mail noted that the city of Tokchon is inhabited by about 200,000 people.

Although, the fact that the missile had failed was known, but the location of the crash was unknown, untilthe revelation came fromThe Diplomat magazine.The Diplomat has substantiated its claims with Google Earth images.

A Hwasong-12 intermediate-range ballistic missile, tested by North Korea in April 28, failed halfway through the launch and ended up crashing into Tokchon, a city few miles away from Pyongyang.

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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attends a meeting last year

The Nov. 29 ICBM test was North Korea's most powerful yet, and experts have speculated that the country might be able to reach the continental United States.

The revelation that the missile hit an unintended target raises new questions about the possibility that North Korea could accidentally start a nuclear war if an errant missile were to hit a country like Japan or South Korea. The rogue nation's leader, Kim Jong Un, claims to have the "nuclear button" on his desk at all times.

Those images showed Kim Jong Un inspecting the sites of three failed April Hwasong-12 launches, and included the key launch from Pukchang Airfield.

North Korea's incessant missile testing throughout 2017 escalated tension with the US; and by the looks of it, 2018 is not going to be any better. South Korea warned: "the show of force threatened the whole world". The North's latest successful missile test involved a Hwasong-15, a model believed to be intercontinental - that is, having the capacity of flying over 5,500km.

The prospect of nuclear war breaking out on the Korean Peninsula dominated global headlines for the previous year, but many analysts believe the risk of a nuclear accident could be an even greater threat amid Pyongyang's lax safety regulations.

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