US

South Korea: Suspected midrange North Korean missile crashes

  • South Korean President Park Geun-hye, left, salutes to the national flag during the National Security Council Meeting at the presidential house in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, April 28, 2016. A suspected powerful intermediate-range North Korean missile crashed moments after liftoff Thursday, South Korea's Defense Ministry said, in what would be the second such embarrassing failure in recent weeks. Park said Thursday there were unspecified signs that a fifth test was "imminent." She warned another nuclear test would result in North Korea suffering harsher sanctions. (Lee Sang-hack/Yonhap via AP) KOREA OUT

    South Korean President Park Geun-hye, left, salutes to the national flag during the National Security Council Meeting at the presidential house in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, April 28, 2016. A suspected powerful intermediate-range North Korean missile crashed moments after liftoff Thursday, South Korea's Defense Ministry said, in what would be the second such embarrassing failure in recent weeks. Park said Thursday there were unspecified signs that a fifth test was "imminent." She warned another nuclear test would result in North Korea suffering harsher sanctions. (Lee Sang-hack/Yonhap via AP) KOREA OUT  (The Associated Press)

  • A man watches a TV news program showing a file footage of North Korea's rocket launch at Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, April 28, 2016. A suspected powerful intermediate-range North Korean missile crashed moments after liftoff Thursday, South Korea's Defense Ministry said, in what would be the second such embarrassing failure in recent weeks. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon).

    A man watches a TV news program showing a file footage of North Korea's rocket launch at Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, April 28, 2016. A suspected powerful intermediate-range North Korean missile crashed moments after liftoff Thursday, South Korea's Defense Ministry said, in what would be the second such embarrassing failure in recent weeks. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon).  (The Associated Press)

  • A man walks by a TV news program showing a file footage of North Korean missiles paraded at a military parade in Pyongyang, at Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, April 28, 2016. A suspected powerful intermediate-range North Korean missile crashed moments after liftoff Thursday, South Korea's Defense Ministry said, in what would be the second such embarrassing failure in recent weeks. The letters on a screen read: "North Korean launch of a Musudan missile appears to have failed." (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon).

    A man walks by a TV news program showing a file footage of North Korean missiles paraded at a military parade in Pyongyang, at Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, April 28, 2016. A suspected powerful intermediate-range North Korean missile crashed moments after liftoff Thursday, South Korea's Defense Ministry said, in what would be the second such embarrassing failure in recent weeks. The letters on a screen read: "North Korean launch of a Musudan missile appears to have failed." (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon).  (The Associated Press)

South Korea's Defense Ministry says a suspected powerful midrange North Korean missile has crashed seconds after liftoff.

If confirmed to be the same type of missile, Thursday's launch is the second such failure in recent weeks. It's particularly embarrassing as it comes ahead of a major ruling party meeting next week in Pyongyang.

A Defense Ministry official says the launch was likely the second attempt for the inaugural test of a Musudan, a new, powerful midrange missile that could one day be capable of reaching far-off U.S. military bases in Asia and the Pacific. It exploded in the air a few seconds after liftoff.

The launch comes as the Koreas trade threats amid Pyongyang's anger over annual South Korean-U.S. military drills that North Korea calls a rehearsal for an invasion.