WASHINGTON- North Korea’s latest missile debacle is just one example of the regime’s many failed attempts to successfully launch a ballistic missile.
Pyongyang on Saturday attempted to fire what U.S. military officials believed to be a medium-range ballistic missile near a submarine port in the eastern part of the country.
The missile exploded shortly after departing from the launch pad.
A day earlier the North Korean military in a Pyongyang parade displayed a new generation of ballistic missiles the regime said are capable of reaching the continental United States.
U.S. military officials said they do not believe the missile fired on Saturday was capable of traveling such a distance.
North Korea announced last week that it would launch the missile on April 15 in honor of the 105th birthday of the regime’s founder Kim-Il-Sung.
In the days leading up to the failed test tensions mounted as reports emerged stating U.S. warships were stationed off the coast of the Korean peninsula planning a retatalitory cruise missile strike against the regime’s launch sites should the test go forward.
Pyongyang said nuclear war could ensue in response to a U.S. airstrike.
North Korea is believed to possess nuclear weapons though it is not clear whether the regime yet has missiles that are capable of reaching the continental U.S.
Pyongyang could however strike U.S. ally’s in the region such as South Korea and Japan.
North Korea in February launched the purportedly long-range Pukguksong-2 ballistic missile, which ran out of steam after traveling little more than 300 miles. The missile had been expected to travel at least 700 miles.
Pyongyang earlier this month tested a medium-range missile that yielded results similar to Saturday’s launch.
Two tests carried out in April 2016 also reportedly failed.
North Korea has conducted about ten ballistic missiles tests since 1998 with mixed results.
The Pentagon since 2014 has reportedly tried to undermine Pyongyang’s missile program through the use of cyber sabotage.
Senate Armed Service Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) on Sunday said he does not believe the U.S. is responsible for North Korea’s latest missile debacle.
“I don’t think so, but I wouldn’t rule it out,” McCain told MSNBC’s Chuck Todd.
President Donald Trump thus far has followed in the footsteps of his predecessors in pressuring China to use its economic leverage to force Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear program.
Trump two weeks warned Chinese premier Xi Jinping that if Beijing does not make a good faith effort to force concessions from Pyongyang that the U.S. may forced to take unilateral action against North Korea.