According to reports provided by American and South Korean officials, North Korea attempted to launch a ballistic missile on Wednesday that exploded shortly after takeoff.  It is currently believed that the missile launch was intended as yet another round of testing for the fledgling nuclear power’s missile program that seems to have its sights set on developing a truly intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) with global strike capability.

Wednesday’s test is believed to have been of a similar variety to last year’s series of intermediate-range missile launches, as it was fired from the same location, Wonsan, North Korea near the country’s East Coast.  Also like Wednesday’s test, all but one of North Korea’s previous attempts from that location failed last year as well.

“U.S. Pacific Command detected what we assess was a failed North Korean missile launch attempt … in the vicinity of Kalma,” Commander Dave Benham, a spokesman for U.S. Pacific Command, said in a statement.  Kalma is the name of an airfield located within Wonsan.

“A missile appears to have exploded within seconds of launch,” Benham added, before stipulating that an investigation is underway in order to produce a more detailed assessment of the events that occurred on Wednesday.