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Suspected North Korean hypersonic missile explodes in mid-flight, Seoul says

SpaceWar.com reports: “North Korea test-fired a suspected hypersonic missile on Wednesday morning, but it appeared to explode in mid-flight, South Korea’s military said.

‘Around 5:30 a.m. today, North Korea launched an unknown ballistic missile from the Pyongyang area toward the East Sea but it is presumed to have failed,’ Seoul’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a text message to reporters. ‘Further analysis is being conducted by South Korean and U.S. intelligence authorities.’

A JCS official later told reporters that the missile flew around 155 miles and exploded in the air off the east coast of the country, spreading debris into the sea over a radius of several miles.

The official, who spoke under the condition of anonymity, speculated that the North was attempting to refine the development of a solid-fuel hypersonic missile it had test-fired earlier this year.

More smoke than usual appeared to emanate from the missile, suggesting the possibility of combustion issues, the official added…”

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