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North Korea missile launch appears to have failed, South Korean military says

SEOUL — North Korea's launch of an unknown ballistic missile towards the sea off the east coast of the Korean peninsula appears to have failed, South Korean military said on June 26.

North Korea earlier this week criticised the deployment of a US aircraft carrier to join joint drills with South Korea and Japan, and warned of "overwhelming, new demonstration of deterrence".

The apparent failed missile launch originated from around Pyongyang, South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said. Japan's coast guard said a projectile believed to be the North Korean ballistic missile appeared to have already fallen.

Japan's Defence Ministry said the missile flew to an altitude of about 100km and range of more than 200km. It appeared to be a failed test of a hypersonic missile, Yonhap News Agency said, citing an unnamed military source. North Korea's last missile firing was on May 30.

The missile launch comes a day after the 74-year anniversary of the beginning of the Korean War.

North Korean state media KCNA said on June 26 that a mass rally in Pyongyang was held to commemorate the anniversary, calling it a day of "struggle against US imperialism" and labelling the US the arch enemy.

Recently, North Korea has been flying hundreds of balloons carrying trash towards the South, including on June 25, while Pyongyang deployed a large group of soldiers to build new fortifications within the heavily armed border between the two Koreas according to the South's military, occasionally inviting warning shots from South Korean counterparts.

Decades after war, North Korea still builds borders, draws warning shots