Experts are suggesting the in-flight failure and crash of the missile launched by North Korea on Wednesday could have been the result of a "left-of-launch" attack by the United States.
Wednesday's missile has been identified as a liquid fuel, extended-range Scud and was launched shortly after dawn from near the city of Sinpo, on the east coast of the Korean Peninsula. US Pacific Command estimates that the weapon flew for a maximum of nine minutes and travelled less than 40 miles before spinning out of control into the Sea of Japan.
North Korea's missile programme has a high rate of failure with another medium-range weapon failing during flight earlier in March. In early 2016, a Musudan missile fired to mark the anniversary of the birth of Kim Il-sung, the founder of the nation, blew up immediately after launch and damaged its mobile tractor-erector-launcher unit.
In November 2015, the North's attempt to launch a ballistic missile from a submarine ended in failure, with the weapon breaking up underwater and failing to breach the surface.