North Korea’s Projectile Launch Fails, South Korea Says

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SEOUL — North Korea launched an unidentified projectile on Wednesday, but it apparently failed “immediately after liftoff,” the South Korean military said.

The projectile was launched at 9:30 a.m. from Sunan, outside Pyongyang, the capital, the South Korean military said in a brief statement. It provided no further details, saying that South Korean and United States military intelligence officials were analyzing data from the failed launch.

American and South Korean officials said the North launched ballistic missiles from Sunan on Feb. 27 and March 5. North Korea said those tests had been part of its preparation to launch a military reconnaissance satellite — a task that its leader, Kim Jong-un, assigned to his government during a Workers’ Party congress in January last year.

But Washington and Seoul later said that North Korea had actually been conducting scaled-down tests of its new Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile under the guise of launching a satellite. The Hwasong-17, the North’s largest known I.C.B.M., was first unveiled during a military parade in October 2020 but had never been tested before.

North Korea has conducted 10 missile or projectile tests so far this year, more than in all of last year.

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