Many panicked residents called city hall: failed missile launch creates panic in South Korean city

Sylvie Claire / October 5, 2022

A ballistic missile crashed to the ground and generated a large fire. No casualties were reported, but “many residents” panicked.
A failed ballistic missile launch caused panic in an otherwise quiet South Korean city after the missile crashed to the ground and caused a major fire, officials said Wednesday. The South Korean military fired a Hyunmoo-2 short-range ballistic missile late Tuesday that malfunctioned and crashed shortly after launch. The missile’s propellant caught fire, but its warhead did not explode, a South Korean military official told the Yonhap news agency. Seoul and Washington have conducted multiple joint drills, dropping bombs and firing missiles in response to the launch of a North Korean intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM), which flew over Japan on Tuesday.
Viral images on social networks – which Agence France-Presse was unable to authenticate – showed an orange ball of flames, which users claimed to locate near Gangneung Air Base on the country’s east coast. “Many panicked residents called the city hall,” reported an official at Gangneung City Hall. “At first we didn’t know what was going on because we had not received any warning from the military about such a training,” she added on condition of anonymity.
Seoul and Pyongyang are still technically at war, with the 1950-53 Korean War ending in an armistice rather than a peace treaty. Armed clashes between the two neighbors are rare, but the missile crash led many residents to believe that war had broken out. “I thought there was a war, but it turns out it was military training,” tweeted one Internet user. “What took them so long to confirm (this)? If there was a war, we’d probably find out the next day,” another user wrote. The South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff explained that no casualties had been reported and that they were looking into the cause of the misfire.

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