South Korea says missile malfunctioned and fell during drill
A South Korean ballistic missile malfunctioned and fell on land during a live-fire drill with the United States, with sound of the blast and subsequent fire triggering panic among residents in the coastal city of Gangneung.
They feared an attack from increasingly hostile North Korea.
South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said Wednesday that no one was hurt in the accident Tuesday night. It said the military was investigating why the Hyunmoo-2 missile malfunctioned. It didn’t immediately specify where the missile landed.
The military acknowledged the accident hours after internet users posted videos showing an orange ball of flames emerging from an area they described as near a Gangneung air force base.
The live-fire drill came hours after North Korea flew a nuclear-capable ballistic missile that crossed Japan in its most provocative weapons demonstration in years. Tuesday’s launch extended a record number of North Korean launches this year as the country pushes to develop a full-fledged nuclear arsenal capable of threatening the U.S. mainland and its allies, with the goal of wresting concessions from those countries.
Trade used to take precedence in Asia, but geopolitical tensions are now pushing nations into security blocs led by China and the United States.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff said the South Korean and U.S. militaries successfully fired a total of four Army Tactical Missile Systems missiles during the exercise that it said was aimed at demonstrating precision-strike capabilities against the North.
The allies earlier on Tuesday launched fighter jets that fired weapons at a target off South Korea’s west coast in another show of strength.
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