The country launched seven Musudan missiles previous year, with all of them failing save for one. But if it was an intermediate-range Musudan, Wednesday's test would echo seven failures in 2016.
North Korea test-fired a missile from Wonsan, Kangwon Province on Wednesday morning but it exploded shortly after liftoff, the Defense Ministry here said.
North Korea has launched at least six missiles and tested a high-thrust rocket engine, possibly for an intercontinental ballistic missile, since President Donald Trump took office.
This includes developing a "pre-emptive first strike capability" and an inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM), said Choe Myong Nam, deputy ambassador at the North Korean mission to the United Nations in Geneva. We are keeping a close eye on its nuclear activities, ' the official said.
On Sunday, its leader Kim Jong-Un personally oversaw and hailed a "successful" test of what Pyongyang said was a new rocket engine - which can be easily repurposed for use in missiles.
A North Korean missile appeared to have exploded on Wednesday just after it was launched, the US and South Korean militaries said after detecting the latest in a series of weapons tests by the nuclear-armed state that have alarmed the region.
Does that mean we should stock up on canned sardines and start practicing "duck and cover"?
Pyongyang has tested several other ballistic missiles already this year, despite being barred from doing so by United Nations Security Council resolutions.
But doubts remain about North Korea's actual missile capabilities. A map from Graphiq (embedded below) this week showed roughly the same.
There is evidence, according to the report, that North Korea has finished tunnels around the Punggye-ri nuclear test site.
They also emphasised the vital importance that DPRK shows honest commitment to denuclearization.
What weapons does North Korea possess?The B-1B can drop nuclear bombs and could be used to launch preemptive strikes on key North Korean facilities.
How big is North Korea's army?If they do, we might be in trouble.
In South Korea, Tillerson said the United States policy of "strategic patience" toward North Korea has ended and it is exploring new responses to the threat. "If they elevate the threat of their weapons program to a level that we believe requires action, that option is on the table".
During Tillerson's trip, Trump tweeted, "North Korea is behaving very badly".
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (L) looks at South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-Se during a news conference in Seoul, South Korea March 17, 2017.