North Korea: Launches missile; backfires, causing earthquake

Seoul, South Korea (YC) – North Korea has appeared to have conducted a sixth nuclear test.

Seismological data from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) showed that an explosion caused a 6.3-magnitude tremor in the country’s northeast, not far from the country’s Punggey-ri nuclear test site.

North Korea has been testing their missiles since 1976.

South Korea’s military said the tremor appeared to have been man-made, suggesting the North may have carried out a nuclear test.

However, there has been no confirmation whether the North has conducted its sixth nuclear test. It carried out its fifth test last September.

Seoul based journalist Alex Jensen told Sky News that any nuclear test would be no surprise.

He said: “Everybody should have expected another one this year, frankly because we’ve been heading in this direction with the provocations.

“It looks like a pretty cast iron case.”

He said all eyes will now be on the response from the US, adding: “We recently heard Donald Trump saying that all options are on the table… presumably they are still on the table.”

He added: “I think the US is going to be furious about this.”

Furthermore, the North Korean Sea War has been in full effect since 2016 after Kim Jong-un launched several missiles into the sea.

North Korean Missile Timeline

  1. 1976–81 – North Korea commences its missile development program using Scud-B from the Soviet Union and a launchpad from Egypt.[5]
  2. 1984 – First Scud-B missile test firing.[5]
  3. 1988 – Operational deployment of Scud-B and Scud-C missiles.[5]
  4. 1990 – First Rodong missile test.[5]
  5. 1993 North Korean missile test – (May 29/30, 1993) – Nodong
  6. 1998 – North Korea fires off its first ballistic missile, the Unha-1 rocket, also known as the Taepodong-1 missile, from the launch site of Musudan-ri in North Hamgyong Province.[6]
  7. 1999 – North Korea agrees to a moratorium on long-range missile tests.[7]
  8. 2002 – North Korea pledges to extend moratorium on missile tests beyond 2003.
  9. 2004 – North Korea reaffirms moratorium.[8]
  10. 2005 – North Korea fires short-range missile into Sea of Japan.[9]
  11. 2006 North Korean missile test – (July 5, 2006) – Taepodong-2 failed [6]
  12. 2009 – Failed orbit of the Kwangmyongsong-2 satellite aboard an Unha-2 carrier rocket (April 5, 2009)
  13. 2009 North Korean missile test (July 4, 2009)
  14. 2012 – Failed launch of the Kwangmyŏngsŏng-3 satellite aboard an Unha-3 carrier rocket (April 13, 2012)
  15. 2012 – Successful launch of the Kwangmyŏngsŏng-3 Unit 2 satellite aboard a three stage rocket (December 12, 2012)[6]
  16. 2013 North Korean missile tests (May 18–20, 2013 – part of 2013 Korean crisis)
  17. 2014 North Korean missile tests (March 2014) including Nodong, success[10]
  18. 2015- North Korea claims to launch a missile from a submarine (May 2015)[11][6]
  19. 2016 – Successful launch of the Kwangmyŏngsŏng-4 satellite (February 7, 2016)
  20. 2016 – Test of engine designed for an intercontinental ballistic missile (April 2016)[12]
  21. 2016 – North Korea claims to launch a Pukkuksong-1[13] missile capable of striking the United States (August 2016).[14] The missile is a Submarine-launched ballistic missile.[14]
  22. 2016 – Failed North Korean ballistic missile launch (October 15, 2016)- [15]
  23. 2016 – Failed launch of an intermediate-range missile (October 19, 2016)[16]
  24. 2017 – North Korea test-fired a Pukguksong-2 missile over the Sea of Japan. This was the first launch of the new medium-range ballistic missile (February 11, 2017).[17][18][6]
  25. 2017 – North Korea launches four ballistic missiles from the Tongchang-ri launch site in the northwest.[19] Some flew 620 mi (1,000 km) before falling into the Sea of Japan. (March 6, 2017)[20][6]
  26. 2017 – North Korea test-fired a medium-range ballistic missile from its eastern port of Sinpo into the Sea of Japan (April 4, 2017)[21][22][6]
  27. 2017 – North Korea test-fired an unidentified land-based missile from the naval base in Sinpo but it exploded almost immediately after the takeoff (April 15, 2017).[23][24][25][26]
  28. 2017 – North Korea test-fired an unidentified missile from Pukchang airfield (April 28, 2017).[27][28] Missile, believed to be a medium-range[29] KN-17 ballistic missile,[27] falters and breaks apart minutes after liftoff.[29][30]
  29. 2017 – North Korea test-fired a Hwasong-12[31] missile from a test site in the area of Kusong (May 13, 2017).[32] The missile, later revealed to be an intermediate range ballistic missile,[33] traveled 30 minutes,[34] reached an altitude of more than 2,111.5 km, and flew a horizontal distance of 789 km (489 miles), before falling into the Sea of Japan.[33] Such a missile would have a range of at least 4,000, reaching Guam, to 6,000 km.[32][31]
  30. 2017- North Korea test-fired another Pukguksong-2 medium-range ballistic missile from Pukchang airfield (May 21, 2017),[35][36] which traveled approximately 300 miles before falling into the Sea of Japan.[37] The missile landed about 217 miles from North Korea’s east coast.[37]
  31. 2017 – North Korea Fired a Short Range Ballistic Missile into the Sea of Japan (May 29, 2017). It traveled 450 km.[38]
  32. 2017 – North Korea fired several missiles into the Sea of Japan (June 8, 2017). They are believed to be anti-ship missiles.[39] The South Korean military said the launches show the reclusive regime’s “precise targeting capability.”
  33. 2017 – North Korea tested a new rocket engine that could possibly be fitted to an intercontinental ballistic missile (June 23, 2017).[40]
  34. 2017 – North Korea tested its first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) named Hwasong-14 on July 4.[41][42] It launched from the Panghyon Aircraft Factory 8 km southeast of Panghyon Airport.[43] It was aimed straight up at a lofted trajectory and reached more than 2,500 km into space.[44] It landed 37 minutes later,[45] more than 930 km from its launch site,[46] into Japan’s exclusive economic zone.[47] Aiming long, the missile would have traveled 7,000-8,000 km or more, reaching Alaska, Hawaii, and maybe Seattle.[45][48][49][50][51] Its operational range would be farther, bringing a 500 kg payload to targets in most of the contiguous United States 9,700 km away.[52][53][54]
  35. 2017- The 14th missile test carried out by North Korea in 2017 was another ICBM launched at 23:41 North Korea time (15:41 GMT) from Chagang Province in the north of the country on July 28, 2017. Los Angeles, Denver, Chicago, Boston, and New York appear to be within range.[55] The missile’s reentry vehicle (RV) was seen by people in Japan as it entered the atmosphere and landed near the northernmost Japanese island, Hokkaido.[56][57] Analysis later revealed that the RV broke up on re-entry; further testing would be required.[58] The CIA made an assessment expecting adequate performance of the RV under the different stresses of a shallower trajectory towards the continental US.[59]
  36. 2017: North Korea test fires three short range ballistic missiles from the Kangwon province on August 26. Two travel approximately 250 kilometers in a northeastern direction and one explodes immediately after launch.
  37. 2017: On August 29, 2017, at 6 AM local time, North Korea launched a ballistic missile over Northern Japan. The missile’s short and low trajectory and its breakup into three pieces is consistent with the failure of a heavy post-boost vehicle