Tensions with North Korea escalated over the course of 2017 due to their increased ballistic missile tests as well as their nuclear weapons development, but it appears that not all of these went to plan.

One persistent claim from the West is that despite North Korea's clear improvements in missile technology, it remains unreliable, which could pose even more of a danger to life.

And new reports would suggest that those fears may have come true.

The Tokyo-based Diplomat news website has reported that a missile test conducted in early 2017 went wrong and landed in a city instead.

The site claimed that it had seen evidence from a US government source revealing how a test of the Hwasong-12 missile on the 28 April ended badly when the rocket crashed into the city of Tokchon, north-east of Pyongyang.

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.

The report was unable to verify the extent of any damage or if any citizens were hurt in the incident.

The missile launch went largely unnoticed due to its failure, but concerns were raised in Washington about the risk of an accidental conflict starting in the event of a similar such failure.

Even without a warhead attached, a missile can cause major destruction on impact to the ground due to the fuel loads and gases contained inside the rocket.

But more recent missile tests have been more successful and have travelled long distances, with some flying over parts of Japan.

In the event of a similar failure over Japan, Dave Schmerler of the Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey said that it "could spark a serious crisis."

Donald Trump has repeatedly threatened Pyongyang over the past 12 months in what has played out as escalating game of verbal jibes between himself and Kim Jong-un regime.

Fresh UN sanctions and ongoing North Korea missile tests have ratcheted up already high tensions between the hermit nation and the US.

Over the summer, Trump threatened North Korea with "fire and fury" if they continue their nuclear missile developments.

This prompted angry responses from Pyongyang, including the state-run newspaper calling for Trump to face the death sentence.

And in early 2018, after reports that Kim had a red nuclear button on his desk, Trump hit back claiming that his button was "bigger and more powerful."