The failure of a recent North Korean missile test could have been caused by the US, experts have suggested.
A Scud missile was fired yesterday from the eastern city of Simpo, ahead of a key meeting between Donald Trump and Xi Jingping - but crashed into the Sea of Japan after nine minutes.
Soon after, Mr Trump told the Japanese government that “all options were on the table” in dealing with North Korea.
Tokyo based defence analyst Lance Gatling suggested Wednesday’s missile failure could have been the result of US intervention.
The US has engaged in a programme to sabotage North Korean rocket tests since 2014, known as the ‘left of launch’ strategy.
It was introduced by Barack Obama in an attempt to stem North Korean progress in weapons testing. Cyber warfare and subterfuge is used to damage missile components and functionality.
"There are many things that can go wrong with a missile launch, but it would be impossible to tell from outside if something [US controlled] had affected the internal guidance or control systems", Mr Gatling told The Telegraph.
He added: “There is a possibility that the North's supply chain for components has been deliberately infected, and they might never know."
"It is quite possible that parts that they are importing are intentionally faulty because, through history, there have been similar attempts to sabotage an enemy's capabilities."
Despite the intense rhetoric with which other countries reacted to Wednesday’s test, the US drew attention for its meagre official response.
A statement by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson simply said: “North Korea launched yet another intermediate range ballistic missile. The United States has spoken enough about North Korea. We have no further comment.”
However, Donald Trump has apparently been more direct behind closed doors. A White House statement on a phone call to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the President "made clear that the United States would continue to strengthen its ability to deter and defend itself and its allies with the full range of its military capabilities".
Inside the daily life in North Korea
Inside the daily life in North Korea
People reading a newspaper at the metro station
Thoughts of the leaders on the tram. They have about a dozen of these on every tram, all with different thoughts
Young people training for a big upcoming festival
People at the Pyongyang's annual marathon
Many stars on one of the trolleys in Pyongyang
An intimidating poster in a primary school in North Korea.
Solar panels installed on a street lamp.
A poster on the window next to one of the venues we visited in Pyongyang
Kids playing football next to the Arch of Triumph. After a while tourists were allowed to join, so some of us did
Class in an educational center in Pyongyang (where people over 17 years old can attend any classes they choose after school, for free)
People waving at me during the Pyongyang marathon
People having a great time dancing at a public park
A metro driver in a metro station in Pyongyang
Fireworks to mark the birthday of the Eternal President Kim Il Sung on our last night in Pyongyang
My wonderful tour guide at a public park
One of the parks in Pyongyang
A person rowing some boats for the day at a river in Pyongyang
The National War Museum
Public park in Pyongyang
Earlier this week, Mr Trump vowed to “solve” the problem of North Korea with or without Chinese help. He is due to meet Chinese premier Xi Jingping at his Mar-a-Lago resort.
Senior military commanders also backed up the President’s tough talk.
"Up to this point I think it is fair to say ... that economic and diplomatic efforts have not supported the progress people have been anticipating and looking forward to," US Pacific Fleet Commander Admiral Scott Swift said in Tokyo, where he was meeting his Japanese counterparts.
Asked if there could be a military response to North Korea, Mr Swift replied: "That decision would be up to the president. The military was always an option."Reuse content