The government has confirmed that the long-range Taepodong-2 ballistic missile launched by North Korea in early July failed, Defense Agency Director General Fukushiro Nukaga said Friday.
Speaking at a news conference, Nukaga said the missile is believed to have broken up in midair at an altitude of several kilometers just tens of seconds after launch. The missile came down near the launch site before the first stage separated.
“We were able to clearly confirm the failure” of the Taepodong-2, which was the third missile launched during the battery of missile tests on July 5. The missile was fired from the northeastern part of the country, Nukaga said.
Nukaga’s remarks were based on the result of an analysis of the missile tests by the Defense Agency. In the tests, Pyongyang fired a total of seven ballistic missiles toward the Sea of Japan. In addition to the two Taepodong-2 missiles, three intermediate-range Rodongs and three short-range Scuds are also believed to have been fired.
The other six missiles were launched from the southeastern part of North Korea and “fell into the Sea of Japan after flying about 400 km to the northeast,” the defense chief said.
The six missiles were fired from mobile launchers. The Defense Agency believes they were Rodongs or Scuds, based on how far they flew.
Nukaga had said earlier the agency believed three Rodongs and three Scuds were fired, but said it was “difficult to determine” their types.
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