all eyes on north korea
North Korea fired an "unknown projectile" from an airport near Pyongyang on Wednesday, but it appears to have exploded right after launch, the South Korean military said.
The U.S. Indo-Pacific Command described the event as a "ballistic missile launch," and South Korea's NK News reports that debris from the failed test fell in and around Pyongyang.
The launch taking place so close to Pyongyang is "concerning because of the possibility of damage to heavily populated civilian areas," Ankit Panda, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, told Reuters. In 2017, North Korea tested an intermediate-range ballistic missile that failed shortly after launch, and that crashed into a complex in the city of Tokchon.
This year, North Korea has conducted 10 weapons tests, including two of its new intercontinental ballistic missile, Hwasong-17. Reuters reports that launches on Feb. 27 and March 5 did not show the full capabilities of Hwasong-17, and the U.S. and South Korea have both warned that a launch at full range could happen soon.