Yet, it blew up just about a minute into its boost phase. It likely didn't even clear North Korean airspace, although some parts may have fallen into South Korean waters.
Officials from the United States, South Korea and Japan called the launch a failure, and the Japanese government said the rocket had disintegrated into several pieces while still in North Korean territory or over South Korean waters.Failure isn't an option for North Korea's missile experts. So, when today's rocket launch ended in failure just a minute into the launch, it's not going to end well for them.
“We believe that the rocket fell apart several minutes after the takeoff,” said Kim Min-seok, a spokesman for South Korea’s Defense Ministry. He said the assessment of both the South Korean and American intelligence monitors was that “the North Korean missile launching has failed.”
The rocket, called the Unha-3, blasted off from the Soehae launch site near North Korea’s western corner with China, at about 7:39 a.m., , the South Korea Defense Ministry spokesman said.
In Washington, a senior Obama administration official said the United States would follow through on its threat to suspend a recent agreement to supply food aid to North Korea despite the launch’s failure. The official also said the failure had proved the effectiveness of sanctions already in place on North Korea, which had deprived the isolated country of access needed for a successful program.
There was no immediate announcement of the launch from the North.
They will likely be purged or otherwise explain away their failures as sabotage by the US, South Koreans, or even the result of solar flares or radiation damage.
All the while, North Korean civilians suffer while all the nation's resources are fully committed to missile technologies, weapons development, and nuclear development while it can't even feed itself.