North Korea in failed missile launch, sources say

North Korea made a failed launch of a medium-range ballistic missile Thursday, according to South Korean military sources cited by Yonhap news agency.

The rocket fired from the country's east coast crashed "a few seconds" after being launched, the sources said.

The test may have involved a mid-range Musudan missile, which Pyongyang has tested before and which can reach a distance of 3,000-4,000 kilometres.

The launch was observed by US reconnaissance satellites, Yonhap reported.

Pyongyang had tried to launch the same type of rocket earlier in April, but it exploded shortly after being fired, Yonhap said.

On Saturday, North Korea claimed to have successfully fired a ballistic missile from a submarine, but Seoul countered that it had only stayed in the air for 30 kilometres.

South Korea fears its isolated Stalinist neighbour to the north will carry out another nuclear weapons test ahead of its first party congress since 1980, due to take place on May 6, as a show of strength.

North Korea is forbidden from launching ballistic missiles under UN sanctions.

Tensions are high on the Korean peninsula, as Pyongyang and Seoul exchange accusations over the North's nuclear and missile tests since January, the resulting international sanctions, and the South's annual military manoeuvres with the United States.

Last update: Thu, 28/04/2016 - 15:47

More from World

US abstains for first time from UN vote condemning Cuban embargo

The United States abstained for the first time in 24 years from a vote in the UN General Assembly urging an end to...

Venezuelans demand end to "dictatorship" as tensions surge

Venezuela's political crisis escalated Wednesday as the opposition announced a general strike and threatened to...

Monitor: Death toll rises to 35 in bombing of Syrian rebel village

The death toll from Wednesday's airstrikes near a school complex in a rebel-held village in north-western Syria has...

US pushing for TTIP deal ahead of Obama's Germany trip

The United States said Wednesday it is continuing to push forward with a US-European trade agreement with the "...

2016 deadliest year for migrants in Mediterranean, UN agency says

This year has been the deadliest ever for migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean to Europe, with at least 3,800...