North Korea launched another missile early Saturday morning, making it the regime's third successive, yet unsuccessful missile test since April.
According to South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff, the missile launch took place near Bukchang in Pyeongannam-do Province, just north of Pyongyang at 5:30 a.m, South Korea time.
The South Korean military labeled the test a failure as the missile initially flew in a northeasterly direction, reached an altitude of 71 kilometers, and exploded in the air minutes after launch.. the pieces falling into the East Sea.
The U.S. Pacific Command also confirmed the missile did not leave North Korean territory and did not pose a threat to North America.
The allies say they are analyzing additional information, but there's speculation the missile might have been a KN-15 intermediate-range ballistic missile, which Pyongyang calls the Pukguksong-2.
A U.S. official, who asked not to be named, said the missile could've also been a medium-range ballistic missile called a KN-17, a new Scud-type missile developed by North Korea.
The launch comes amid heightening tensions in the region, as the U.S docked a nuclear powered submarine in South Korea, deployed the U.S. naval strike group, led by the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier to the area, and staged large military drills with South Korea and Japan.
Seoul's foreign ministry has strongly condemned North Korea, saying the missile launch was a clear violation of UN resolutions, a grave threat to regional peace and security.
"This was a frontal attack to the international community's resolution to denuclearize the Korean peninsula, which displayed the belligerence and imprudence of Pyongyang."
U.S. President Donald Trump also reprimanded the missile launch through Twitter, describing it as North Korea "disrespecting" China and its President Xi Jinping.
Japan also denounced the launch as absolutely unacceptable and a violation of UN resolutions.
There was no immediate reaction from China.
The launch is North Korea's 50th-known round of ballistic missile firing since Kim Jong-un took power in late 2011.
Hwang Hojun, Arirang News.