It wasn't immediately clear what kind of missile was sacked from the city of Sinpo, but the failure will sting in Pyongyang because it comes a day after one of the biggest North Korean propaganda events of the year- celebrations of the 105th birthday of late North Korea founder Kim Il Sung, the current leader's grandfather.
But South Korean analysts said Kim decided not to conduct the nuclear test, instead holding a parade meant to show off North Korea's military might.
North Korea paraded new missiles during a military celebration in honor of the 105th birthday of its founder, Kim Il Sung.
Speaking at the parade, North Korea's second-in-command, Choe Ryong Hae, blamed the USA for "creating a war situation", the Associated Press reported.
Moreover, the North has taken the recent deployment of a USA naval strike group to the region as grounds for its continued testing of nuclear and missile weapons technologies.
A United States Navy carrier strike group was headed towards the Korean Peninsula last week as America strengthens its defences against North Korea's elevating nuclear threats.
The state TV also showed several KN-08 missiles being rolled out on trucks at the parade.
One of Kim's top spokespeople, Choe Ryong Hae, today vowed North Korea would "beat down enemies with the power of nuclear justice".
Asked about North Korea this past week, he told reporters: "North Korea is a problem". If China decides to help, that would be great.
There were no further details, and the office said it was analysing the launch.
Meanwhile, in Washington, unnamed USA officials have told the Associated Press that the Trump administration has decided on a new North Korea strategy after a two-month review.More news: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Confident That US Is Not a Threat to Iran
Military planes flew in formation, creating the number "105" above Kim Il Sung Square.
Weapons analysts have suggested intercontinental ballistic missiles may have been among the military hardware presented during the parade in the capital of Pyongyang. As North Korea's only ally in the world, China has a large influence on North Korean actions.
China, North Korea's sole supporter, has stepped in to calm the rising tensions.
LESS than a day after threatening the USA with "nuclear justice" North Korea has embarrassingly tried to launch a ballistic missile but failed.
The US attack on a Syrian airfield has raised questions over its plans for North Korea. "We've got a powerful nuclear deterrent already in our hands, and we certainly will not keep our arms crossed in the face of a USA preemptive strike".
The streets of Pyongyang also saw men beating drums, and women in traditional Korean dress waving flowers and chanting slogans.Many people who took part in the parade appeared to be moved to tears when they passed by the country's leader Kim Jong-un.
"And making it without prompting a furious response from Washington surely qualifies as a win to some degree from Kim's perspective", it said, referring to Kim Jong Un. During his New Year's address, Kim said the country's preparations for an ICBM launch had "reached the final stage".
The North also past year launched a long-range rocket that put a satellite into orbit, which Washington, Seoul and others saw as a banned test of missile technology.
North Korea has conducted five nuclear tests, including two previous year.
This development comes amidst speculations that the regime was preparing to conduct a nuclear test.