North Korea says rocket carrying satellite exploded in mid-air Weapons News

Pyongyang says its attempt to launch another spy satellite into orbit ends in failure, according to state news agency KCNA.

North Korea said its attempt to put a second spy satellite into orbit failed after the rocket exploded.

The clearance came late on Monday after South Korea’s military announced the launch of an “unidentified missile”.

“The launch of a new satellite carrier rocket failed when it exploded mid-air during the flight of the first stage,” said the deputy director general of North Korea’s National Space Technology Administration.

An initial investigation suggested the cause was a newly developed liquid-fuel rocket motor, but other possible causes were being investigated, the report said.

Officials in South Korea and Japan had earlier said the launch appeared to have failed.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said North Korea fired an “unidentified projectile toward the south” over the Yellow Sea, and several fragments were seen in the sea minutes later.

In Japan, public broadcaster NHK reported a similar result.

A senior Japanese defense ministry official told reporters: β€œThe missile did not fly into the declared area, and the situation is not what North Korea thought. We are still investigating whether it is a satellite or not,” Japan’s Kyoto News Agency reported.

Japan issued an emergency warning and ordered an evacuation of southern Okinawa prefecture, saying the rocket was not expected to fly over Japanese territory before lifting the warning.

North Korea had earlier announced its launch plan, saying the launch window would last until June 4.

Nuclear-armed North Korea successfully launched its first spy satellite in November, prompting international condemnation.

The launch comes two months after Russian President Vladimir Putin met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the Vostochny Cosmodrome in eastern Russia and pledged technical assistance to the isolated country. The US called the sanctions a “heinous violation”.

Kim said late last year that Pyongyang would launch three more military spy satellites in 2024 as it continues a military modernization program that saw a large number of weapons tests in 2023.

South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol said another satellite launch β€” North Korea’s fourth such attempt β€” would “undermine regional and global peace and stability,” while the South Korean military conducted strike formation and strike exercises “demonstrating our military’s strong capabilities and will.” ”.

Spy satellites could improve Pyongyang’s intelligence-gathering capabilities, particularly in South Korea, and provide critical data in any military conflict, experts said.

Seoul and the US accuse Moscow of sending the North weapons to use in its war in Ukraine in exchange for technical assistance.

A team of Russian engineers has entered North Korea to help with preparations for the missile, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported on Sunday.

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