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Blast in Gangneung as missile veers inland

REPUBLIC OF KOREA (The Korea Herald/ANN) -- South Korea’s military will launch an investigation into the failed launch of its operational ballistic missile, it said Wednesday, and apologised for its sluggish response to the incident that baffled residents in the coastal city of Gangneung.

A missile which fell to the ground in a military airfield set off a fire in the eastern coastal city of Gangneung, Gangwon province, Wednesday.

The indigenously developed Hyunmoo 2-C ballistic missile fell on land Tuesday night during a combined live fire drill with the United States Forces Korea, senior South Korean military officials, who requested to remain anonymous, confirmed during a closed-door briefing.
This was the first time that a launch of a Hyunmoo-2C surface-to-surface missile with a range of 1,000 km has failed since it was first deployed in 2017. It is also the second failed launch of a Hyunmoo-type missile during live-fire drills. A Hyunmoo-2A missile previously crashed into the sea in September 2017.
The Hyunmoo 2-C missile crashed into a golf course located within a South Korean air force base in the city of Gangneung, Gangwon province, less than one minute after it was launched at the military base at around 11:00 pm. The warhead did not explode and the fire was caused by burning rocket propellant, according to the officials. The South Korean military said the Hyunmoo missile was guided to fire toward the East Sea, but the malfunctioned missile flew westward and abnormally.
The unexploded missile warhead was found 1 km away from the airbase, the unnamed officials said. The nearest residential house is located 700 metres away from the crash site, but there were no civilian and military casualties caused by the failed missile launch.
The fire and loud noise from the crash triggered panic among residents in late Tuesday evening, but it was not until Wednesday morning that the South Korean military addressed the cause of the accident.
Residents in Gangneung said they saw a bright flash that accompanied loud noises at around 11 pm. A video of an orange ball of flames emerging from an area close to the site was also posted online.

(Latest Update October 7, 2022)

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