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In April, Pyongyang launched a Hwasong-12 intermediate-range ballistic missile that failed shortly after launch and ended up hitting the city of Tokchon, roughly two hours from the capital, The Diplomat reported on Wednesday.

The source revealed that the missile failed after one minute of time in the air before crashing down to the ground, in an agricultural-industrial part of the city, which has a population of around 235,000.

Less than three weeks after the failed launch, North Korea successfully tested the Hwasong-12, which is believed to have led to successful tests of the country's first intercontinental ballistic missile later in the year. A building in Chongsin-dong, Tokchon, which appeared to be a greenhouse, was severely damaged with a crater-like impact zone on the ground, believed to have been caused by the highly volatile liquid propellant of the missile, the magazine said, citing an anonymous USA official.

The publication quoted a United States government source with knowledge of the North's weapons program as saying the missile's first stage engines failed around a minute into flight, resulting in "catastrophic failure".

"The Diplomat explained how the liquid-fueled missile likely crashed and caused a "large explosion" in the city, and from Google Earth images, it looks like the crash site was very close to residential and commercial buildings".

When a North Korean missile accidentally hit a North Korean city
North Korea is 'in the early stages of another missile test'

The failed missile launch was widely reported when it happened. The structural damage was independently confirmed by The Diplomat using publicly available satellite photos.

North Korea has not been lucky with missiles of late with a string of failures that engulfed the nation.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un loves to repeatedly display his country's nuclear reach by conducting frequent ballistic missile tests, even if his own citizens become collateral damage of those experiments. And there has been times they have done it from heavily populated regions.

Tokchon, where the missile landed in April 2017, is seen north of Pyongyang.

In November a successful Intercontinental Ballistic Missile launch, the massive Hwasong-15 that led Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to label North Korea "a criminal nation", proved Kim Jong-un could reach "all parts of the USA mainland", the communist state claimed.

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