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SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A malfunctioning South Korean ballistic missile blew up as it plowed into the ground Wednesday during a live-fire drill with the United States that was a reprisal for North Korea’s successful launch a day earlier of a weapon that flew over Japan and has the range to strike the U.S. territory of Guam. The explosion and subsequent fire panicked and confused residents of the coastal city of Gangneung, who were already uneasy over the increasingly provocative weapons tests by rival North Korea. Their concern that it could be a North Korean attack only grew as the military and government officials provided no explanation about the explosion for hours. South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said no injuries were reported from the explosion, which involved a short-range Hyumoo-2 missile that crashed inside an air force base on the outskirts of the city. A Joint Chiefs of Staff official, who spoke on condition of anonymity during a background briefing, said the missile’s warhead didn’t explode during the crash and that the fire was caused by burning rocket propellant. The official said the missile fell soon after liftoff and that no civilian facilities were affected.
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SEOUL, Oct 5 (Reuters) - Hours after North Korea flew a ballistic missile over neighbouring Japan on Tuesday, residents in a South Korean seaside town were startled to see flames leaping from a nearby military base and missiles soaring into the sky.