North Korea’s threat to the U.S. that it would respond to an all-out war with a nuclear attack apparently is a dud. Pyongyang’s launch of a medium-range missile exploded just seconds on Sunday near Sinpo, a port city in North Korea.

Sir Malcolm Rifkind, the former Conservative foreign secretary, said the rocket launch failed because the system is not sufficiently competent to make it work. However, he stated that the U.S. possibly used cyber methods to interrupt missile launches as it had been successful on some occasions, The Telegraph reported.

U.S. cyberattack possibly causes failure of North Korean missile launch

Cyber-attacks and electronic warfare

In the past few years, Pyongyang has experienced failed missile launches. These failures may be due to the stepped up efforts to counter the missile capabilities of Pyongyang using electronic warfare and cyberattacks that former U.S. President Barack ordered in 2014.

Rifkind’s theory seems to be confirmed by an American foreign policy adviser traveling with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence who said that Washington had good intelligence before and after the launch. It was a second failed test, so the U.S. did not need to use further resources against the failed launch that came a day after the “Day of Sun” celebration when North Korea boasted of its Pukkuksong-1 submarine-launched missiles.

Some weapons analysts even thought what was paraded on the 105th birth of Kim Il-Sung were intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Not an ICBM

However, an ongoing U.S. assessment hinted the failed launch was not an ICBM. Another American official said it was launched from land and not a submarine, Reuters reported. U.S. Navy Commander Dave Benham, the spokesman for the U.S.

Pacific Command, said the command detected and tracked the launch at 11:21 a.m. Hawaiian time on Saturday.

On Saturday, Choe Ryong Hae, vice foreign minister of North Korea, boasted the Pyongyang would instantly counter with an annihilating strike if the U.S. would wage reckless provocation against the communist state. The missile, which in theory could reach the U.S., exploded immediately after it was fired before 6 a.m., making identification of the size and range of missile more difficult.

In early April, Pyongyang fired a medium-range missile from Sinpo which also failed.

Because the missile fizzled out five seconds after its firing, the North Korean threat of war was revealed as an empty boast. Pence, on his way to Seoul, is in contact with U.S. President Donald Trump over developments in the region. The billionaire, rather threaten North Korea with tweets, decided to play golf instead on Friday and Saturday morning, The Washington Post reported.

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