North Korean missile explodes shortly after launch

North Korea launched another missile Wednesday, but this launch ended in failure, exploding shortly after lifting off. From NBC News:

“A missile appears to have exploded within seconds of launch,” U.S. Pacific Command spokesman Dave Benham said in a statement. “We are working with our interagency partners on a more detailed assessment. We continue to monitor North Korea’s actions closely.”

The launch comes a day after Kim Jong Un’s regime issued an ominous warning of a potential pre-emptive strike after a test over the weekend of a new advanced rocket engine.

After the launch, China issued a call for restraint, citing the tension on the Korean peninsula. From CNN:

At a daily press briefing Wednesday, China’s foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying again called on all parties on the Korean Peninsula, including South Korea and the United States, to “exercise restraint.”

“The current situation on the peninsula is extremely tense — ‘everyone with his dagger drawn’ would be a fair description,” she said.

This is the third missile launch this year. On March 6 the country fired four missiles at once. The latest launch also follows a successful test Sunday of a new rocket engine.

The concern is that North Korea is advancing its missile technology to the point that it could soon launch a missile capable of hitting targets in Japan, such as a U.S. military base. Eventually, the country could even launch a nuclear-tipped weapon capable of reaching the mainland of the United States.

The latest test comes less than a week after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson visited South Korea and announced a shift in U.S. policy toward North Korea. “Let me be very clear, the policy of strategic patience has ended,” Tillerson said at a press conference. “We’re exploring a new range of diplomatic, security and economic measures. All options are on the table,” he added.