North Korea is believed to have fired an intermediate-range ballistic missile on Thursday (April 28) but it crashed within seconds, according to neighbouring South Korea.
A defense ministry official told the Reuters news agency the missile appeared to have a range of more than 3,000 kilometres and was launched between 6:30 and 7:00 a.m. local time.
The apparent failure would be the second this month. It comes amid concerns Pyongyang might conduct a nuclear test ahead of a key ruling party meeting in May.
Speaking at an Asian security forum in Beijing, South Korea’s Foreign Minister called on regional powers to stop North Korea’s nuclear programme.
“Everyday, Pyongyang is breaching UN Security Council resolutions by using all kinds of methods to advance its nuclear and missile capabilities and by increasing activities in its nuclear facilities in Pyongyang, North Korea,” Yun Byung-se told the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA).
“I hope that CICA will play a special in blocking advance in North Korea’s nuclear weapons capabilities,” he added.
North Korea’s recent nuclear tests have raised tension in the region and angered its only major ally: China — whose president told the summit he would not allow peace to be jeopardized in the Korean peninsula.
“As a close neighbor of the peninsula, we will absolutely not permit war or chaos on the peninsula. This situation would not benefit anyone,” Xi Jinping said.