Flowers are laid under bronze statues of North Korea's late leaders Kim Il Sung, left, and Kim Jong Il at Mansu Hill in Pyongyang, North Korea, Friday, April 15, 2016, to commemorate North founder Kim Il Sung's birthday. (AP Photo/Kim Gwang Hyon)
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North Korea attempted and failed to launch what experts believe was an intermediate-range ballistic missile Friday in defiance of U.N. sanctions and in an embarrassing setback for leader Kim Jong Un, drawing criticism from major ally China.The test, on North Korea's so-called "Day of the Sun," followed its fourth nuclear test in January and a long-range rocket launch in February, which led to new U.N. sanctions that have failed to halt Pyongyang's weapons programs.South Korean officials and international experts said the failed test heightened the possibility that North Korea would conduct a fifth nuclear test, possibly within weeks. China, North Korea's most important economic and diplomatic backer, has been angered by Pyongyang's nuclear tests and rocket launches and has backed United Nations sanctions.North predicted last year that North Korea's nuclear weapons stockpile could grow to 20, 50 or 100 bombs within five years, from an estimated 10 to 16 weapons at that time.
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