Report: North Korea Test-Fires Ballistic Missile, Fails

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A North Korean missile. Photo: Jung Yeon-Je/AFP/Getty Images

North Korea has test-fired a nonnuclear ballistic missile — and said missile failed its test, exploding soon after it launched — according to U.S. officials who spoke with NBC News Friday afternoon. The missile was of the short-range variety, capable of reaching Seoul but not Japan, according to those same officials.

The test comes amid heightened tensions between the United States and Pyongyang over the latter’s nuclear program, and fears that the rogue state may soon develop a nuclear missile capable of reaching the coast of California.

President Trump told Reuters that a “major, major conflict” with North Korea was possible, in an interview published Thursday night. However, Trump expressed a preference for reaching a diplomatic solution with Pyongyang, and noted how impressive it was that Kim Jong-un had managed to become Supreme Leader (by inheriting the position upon his father’s death) before he was even 30 years old.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson implored the United Nations to impose new sanctions on North Korea Friday, and announced that China was prepared to deploy unilateral sanctions against its allies in Pyongyang, should the regime conduct another nuclear test.

Report: North Korea Test-Fires Ballistic Missile, Fails