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> Failure to launch yet again in North Korea. Military sources in South Korea telling Reuters, Pyongyang attempted to fire a ballistic missile off its East Coast early Tuesday morning. State media reporting it was a mid-range Musudan missile, and that it exploded right after lift off. That's the same weapon the North already tried and failed to launch three times in April.
As Seoul Bureau Chief Tony Monroe says, it shows how fixated North Korea is on upping its game.>> Yeah, it's embarrassing. On the other hand, it clearly shows that there is intent here, that they want to prove that this particular missile, the Musudan actually works. Missiles are a complex and sophisticated and difficult technology to master.
Failures happen, it's not totally surprising when they do. One thing that does strike some experts is that often times when you're developing something like this, you would spend more time to figure out what went wrong with the previous one. So there does seem to be pressure to get this one right.
North Korea is believed to have something like 20 or 30 of these missiles. They've been around for about a decade, and they have been deployed without being tested or successfully tested.>> A successful launch would mean a step up for Pyongyang's weapons program. In theory, the Musudan has the capacity to reach any part of Japan and as far a Guam.
Tuesday's launch attempt is the latest in a flurry of weapons tests this year including the country's fourth nuclear detonation. Experts say those were a show of for Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un before cementing his rule ahead of a worker's party congress less than a month ago. Tuesday's launch attempt is the first since then Pyongyang pressing ahead despite UN sanctions and the disapproval of its main ally China.