After a week of rumblings indicating that a rumored nuclear weapons test was imminent, the North Korean military reportedly attempted to fire a test missile from its east coast—but the test, according to Yonhap News Agency, South Korea's largest news agency, the test was a failure. ABC News, citing Defense Department officials, reported that the missile exploded immediately after launch.
The launch was confirmed by the Department of Defense. "U.S. Pacific Command detected and tracked what we assess was a North Korean missile launch at 11:21 a.m. Hawaii time," Commander Dave Benham of the U.S. Pacific Command said in a statement. "The launch of the ballistic missile occurred near Sinpo [North Korea]. The missile blew up almost immediately. The type of missile is still being assessed."
Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis issued a statement regarding the test declaring that President Donald Trump and his military staff had been advised of the situation in North Korea. "The president and his military team are aware of North Korea's most recent unsuccessful missile launch," Mattis said. "The president has no further comment."
Foreign journalists visiting North Korea for the 105th anniversary of founder Kim Il Sung’s birth this week were told to prepare for a “big and important event,” according to Reuters. Reporters were given no indication over whether the announcement was related to the country’s controversial nuclear weapons program.