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(LEAD) N. Korea seems to have failed in projectile launch: S. Korean military

All News 10:57 March 16, 2022

(ATTN: UPDATES throughout with military officials' remarks, more details)
By Song Sang-ho and Kang Yoon-seung

SEOUL, March 16 (Yonhap) -- North Korea on Wednesday fired an unidentified projectile, but the launch appears to have failed soon after liftoff, South Korea's military said.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said the North launched the projectile from the Sunan area in Pyongyang at 9:30 a.m. It did not elaborate further, only saying an additional analysis is needed.

The Sunan airfield is where the North conducted two rocket launches, on Feb. 27 and March 5, which the South and the United States have criticized as intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) system tests ahead of a full-range launch.

"At this point, our assessment is that the projectile launch appears to have been botched as it failed to reach a certain altitude in its early boost phase," a JCS official told reporters on condition of anonymity.

Asked whether it just dropped or exploded in mid-air, the official refused to comment.

"For other specifics, we need a detailed analysis as we cannot comment based on assumptions," the official said.

Speculation has been widespread that Pyongyang could conduct another ICBM system test under the disguise of a satellite development project.

In this file photo, a news report on North Korea's launch of a ballistic missile is aired on a television at Seoul Station on Feb. 27, 2022. (Yonhap)

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