A photo seen by Seoul-based website NK News appears to confirm a South Korean military statement claiming Pyongyang botched a projectile launch at around 9.30am local time (0.30am GMT).
NK News claims the image shows a red-tinted ball of smoke at the end of a rocket launch trail in the skies above the North Korean capital.
Residents in Pyongyang reportedly heard the projectile and were said to have seen the smoke and vapour form in the sky.
Ankit Panda, a senior fellow in the Nuclear Policy Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, described the image as consistent with a “catastrophic failure”.
He went on to claim the “reddish-orange smoke” could be related with liquid fuel which is “very toxic” for humans.
Mr Panda added: “I hope it didn’t crash near or in Pyongyang.”
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