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(LEAD) N. Korea's launch of Musudan missile ends in failure again: military

All Headlines 11:11 October 20, 2016

(ATTN: CHANGES slug, lead; EXPANDS dateline; COMBINES US-NK missile slugged story; UPDATES with announcement by S. Korean military in paras 2-3)

SEOUL/WASHINGTON, Oct. 20 (Yonhap) -- North Korea launched what appears to be an intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) Thursday (Korean time), but the launch ended in failure, Seoul's Joint Chiefs of Staff said.

"According to a joint assessment by Seoul and Washington, North Korea launched a ballistic missile at 7 a.m. near an airfield in the northwestern city of Kusong. The missile is presumed to be a Musudan intermediate-range ballistic missile," the JCS said in a text message.

Kusong is near the North's "Dongchang-ri" or "Sohae" missile launch site.

The confirmation comes after the U.S. Strategic Command announced it detected the launch of an IRBM earlier in the day.

"U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) systems detected what we assess was a failed North Korean missile launch," the command said in a statement.

"The missile is presumed to be a Musudan missile," it said. "The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) determined the missile launch from North Korea did not pose a threat to North America."

It was the second time in less than a week that the North has launched a Musudan missile believed to be capable of reaching the U.S. territory of Guam. The previous launch, which came on Saturday, also ended in failure as the missile exploded shortly after take-off.

The latest launch is the eighth Musudan missile fired off by the reclusive country. Of the eight, a missile launched on June 22 flew 400 km and reached an altitude of over 1,400 km. Others blew up shortly after being launched.

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