North Korea’s Latest Missile Test Reportedly Failed

North Korea’s Latest Missile Test Reportedly Failed

Wednesday’s failed launch was North Korea’s first missile test since Yoon Suk-yeol was elected South Korea’s next president.


North Korea has carried out at least ten missile and projectile launches in the early months of 2022, leading to denunciations from the United States, South Korea, Japan, and other nations. However, North Korea’s latest launch reportedly failed. 

According to the New York Times, the South Korean military claimed that a projectile fired from outside Pyongyang on Wednesday failed “immediately after liftoff.” The report added that South Korea and the United States are “analyzing data from the failed launch.” Citing an image it had seen, NK News appeared to confirm that the launch failed. The launch came from Sunan, the same place where rockets were launched on both February 7 and March 5. 


In a subsequent report, Yonhap News Agency stated that the United States has now condemned the latest launch. “The United States condemns the DPRK's ballistic missile launch,” the State Department told Yonhap in a statement. 

“Like the DPRK's recent test of two intercontinental ballistic missiles, this launch is a clear violation of multiple United Nations Security Council resolutions, and demonstrates the threat the DPRK's unlawful weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs pose to the DPRK's neighbors and the region as a whole,” the statement said. 

The State Department added that it has called on North Korea to “refrain from further provocations and engage in sustained and substantive dialogue.” The statement added that the United States’ “commitment to the defense of the Republic of Korea and Japan remains ironclad.”

Wednesday’s failed launch was North Korea’s first missile test since Yoon Suk-yeol was elected South Korea’s next president on March 9. 

According to Yonhap, a spokesperson for Yoon called for North Korea to return to denuclearization talks earlier this week. "We hope North Korea will come out for dialogue for complete denuclearization,” Kim Eun-hye, the spokesperson for the incoming president, told Yonhap when asked about North Korea’s possible moves toward developing a new intercontinental ballistic missile. Those comments came prior to the latest launch. 

Last week, NPR examined Yoon’s likely posture toward North Korea once he takes office this spring. Yoon called North Korea his country’s “main enemy” and vowed to get tougher on the North during the campaign. But he’s also left the door open to new talks. The current president, Moon Jae-in, met with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un three times during his term in office, something that Yoon has criticized.

"I will make a principled, determined response to North Korea's illegal and unreasonable actions, but always keep the door open to inter-Korean dialogue," Yoon said in the first news conference following his election. 

Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.

Image: Reuters.