North Korea's "Day of the Sun" became the "Day of the Flop" after an attempt to mark its founder's birthday with a missile launch fizzled, according to South Korean officials. An official from South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff says the missile launch from the country's east coast early Friday deviated from a normal trajectory, the Washington Post reports. An American military official says the US also detected and tracked the failed launch, which took place on the most important day in Pyongyang's calendar, the birthday of Kim Il Sung.
Officials suspect the missile was a Musudan intermediate-range missile, also known as a BM-25, which Pyongyang has displayed in military parades but never tested before. The country fired a different kind of medium-range missile into the sea last month. Even North Korea's closest ally denounced the latest launch attempt, reports Reuters. The launch, "though failed, marks the latest in a string of saber-rattling that, if unchecked, will lead the country to nowhere," China's Xinhua news agency said. "Nuclear weapons will not make Pyongyang safer. On the contrary, its costly military endeavors will keep on suffocating its economy." (Seoul is getting some vital information from a high-level defector.)