A photo seen by the Seoul-based website NK News appears to confirm a South Korean military statement claiming that Pyongyang damaged the projectile launch at around 0930 local time (0.30 GMT). NK News claims the image shows a ball of red smoke at the end of the rocket’s launch path in the sky over the North Korean capital.
Residents in Pyongyang reportedly heard projectiles and were said to have seen smoke and steam forming in the sky.
Ankit Panda, a senior fellow in the Nuclear Policy Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, described the picture as consistent with a “catastrophic failure”.
He went on to claim the “reddish-orange smoke” could be linked to a liquid fuel that is “highly toxic” to humans.
Panda added: “I hope it doesn’t fall near or in Pyongyang.”
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South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement that the projectile was fired from Sunan Airport, according to Reuters.
The statement said: “Presumably failed immediately after launch.”
Japanese public broadcaster NHK has also reported sources within the Tokyo Defense Ministry calling the projectile a potential ballistic missile.
The US Indo-Pacific Command has released a statement sharing their information about the missile launch.
They said: “We are aware of the DPRK’s ballistic missile launch today and are in close consultation with the Republic of Korea (ROK) and Japan, as well as other regional allies and partners.
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Pyongyang claims the launch was part of a reconnaissance satellite test.
The latest news of the launch of this projectile is said to be the first since Yoon Suk-Yeol won the South Korean Presidential Election last week.
The “People’s Power” president, who won the polls by just a few hundred thousand votes, is said to be a hardliner on issues involving Pyongyang.
Mr Yoon said in a recent speech: “I will resolutely respond to North Korea’s illegal and unreasonable actions according to principle but always leave the door open for South-North dialogue.”
In a separate interview with the Wall Street Journal, he added: “We will stand on the right side of history with the US by ensuring that those who undermine the liberal international order pay the appropriate price.”