As Kim Jong-un continues to boast of his military might, the devastating effects of a failed North Korean missile which hit one of its own cities has emerged.
Satellite imaging has recently revealed the devastation caused by a failed test launch which struck Tokchon, a city of 200,000 in the secretive state, according to a US government official.
The Hwasong KN-17 medium-range rocket was fired from Pukchang Airfield in South Pyongan Province, 40 miles north of Pyongyang on April 28 last year, reports The Diplomat.
However the launch failed after a flight time of just one minute, and the missile, which only reached heights of 70 kilometres, crashed down onto what looks to be an industrial or agricultural building.
The American government source, who is unnamed but apparently has ‘knowledge of North Korea’s weapons programs’, explained the missile’s path was destined for the sea off the coast of Japan.
The location of the missile’s eventual impact was revealed to The Diplomat and evidence of the incident can be independently corroborated in commercially available satellite imagery from April and May 2017.
The failure shows just how dangerous the mere presence of nuclear warheads can be to a country, especially when they are in the hands of a dictator.
Sadly, it’s by no means out of character for the portly dictator’s regime:
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Despite the potential death and destruction to innocent people this failure may have caused back in April 2017, you can’t help but wonder whether President Donald Trump is secretly delighted at the news.
The emergence of the destruction nuclear warheads can cause, to the innocent citizens of a country, puts the political sparring between Trump and Kim Jong-un into scary perspective.
Ramping up this weirdly homoerotic Twitter spat, Donald Trump figured out how to push Kim’s buttons and came out yesterday with the strangest insult thus far, directed at the portly yet highly dangerous dictator of North Korea.
Nevermind Rocket Man or ‘mentally-deranged dotard’.
Trump has resorted to unbelievable playground tactics with his latest tweet:
North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the “Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.” Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2018
This, from @realDonaldTrump just six hours ago:
North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated the ‘Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.’
Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!
The mis-spelling of the Supreme Leader’s name aside, the message is awfully reminiscent of schoolyard back and forth.
Whether The Donald is intentionally comparing his ‘bigger & more powerful Nuclear Button’ to an anatomical appendage is unclear and yet startlingly obvious.
Yet, considering the insults which have come before, anything goes in world politics and Twitter these days, apparently:
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Last year, after Donald Trump called Kim ‘Rocket Man’ – a surprisingly cool and desirable nickname for the trigger-happy guy whose finger is poised over the red button that spells nuclear war – Kim has responded with equal gusto.
The North Korean leader called Mr Trump a ‘mentally deranged US dotard‘ and vowed the ‘highest level of hard-line countermeasure in history’ in response to Trump’s demand, the United Nations ‘totally destroy’ North Korea in self-defence.
In his United Nations speech, Mr Trump called North Korea’s autocracy a ‘band of criminals’ and Mr Kim a ‘Rocket Man’ on ‘a suicide mission’.
In a previous instalment of this political pissing contest, Jong-un said of Donald, ‘A frightened dog barks louder’.
News from Pyongyang in November 2017 confirmed what we thought Kim Jong-un had been bragging about for months.
North Korea declared they had achieved the regime’s long-held goal of becoming a nuclear power.
The dictatorial power successfully tested a new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) with a range covering all of the US mainland.
An anchor of the country’s propaganda news station read:
After watching the successful launch of the new type ICBM Hwasong-15, Kim Jong-un declared with pride that now we have finally realised the great historic cause of completing the state nuclear force, the cause of building a rocket power.
In the statement, North Korea described itself as a ‘responsible nuclear power’, saying its strategic weapons were developed to defend itself from ‘the US imperialist nuclear blackmail policy and nuclear threat’.
North Korea said the new powerful missile reached an altitude of around 4,475 km (2,780 miles) – more than 10 times the height of the international space station – and flew 950 km (600 miles) during its 53 minute flight, The Independent reported at the time.
Based on its trajectory and distance, the missile, Hwasong-15, would have a range of more than 13,000 km (8,100 miles), which is more than enough to reach Washington DC, the US-based Union of Concerned Scientists said.
However, it was unclear how heavy a payload the missile was carrying and it was uncertain if it could carry a large nuclear warhead that far, the nonprofit science advocacy group added.
It came a week after President Trump placed North Korea back on a list of countries the US officially claims support terrorism.
The move was set out to allow the US, along with the UN, to impose further sanctions on Kim Jong-un’s dictatorial regime.
Here’s hoping both the world leaders set aside their differences and are able to develop what would potentially be the most disturbing and dangerous, but peaceful bromance…
For all our sakes, before they start pressing each other’s buttons and causing more dangerously failed missile launches.
A former emo kid who talks too much about 8Chan meme culture, the Kardashian Klan, and how her smartphone is probably killing her. Francesca is a Cardiff University Journalism Masters grad who has done words for BBC, ELLE, The Debrief, DAZED, an art magazine you’ve never heard of and a feminist zine which never went to print.