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North Korea says rocket carrying satellite exploded mid-flight | Weapons News

Pyongyang says its attempt to put another spy satellite into orbit ended in failure, according to the official KCNA news agency.

North Korea said its attempt to put a second spy satellite into orbit failed when the rocket it was on exploded.

The admission came Monday evening after the South Korean military reported the launch of an “unidentified projectile.”

“The launch of the new satellite carrier rocket failed when it exploded mid-flight during the flight of the first stage,” the deputy director general of North Korea’s National Aerospace Technology Administration said in a published report by state media.

An initial analysis suggested the cause was a new liquid-fueled rocket engine, but other possible causes were being investigated, the report said.

South Korean and Japanese officials earlier said the launch appeared to have failed.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said North Korea fired an “unidentified projectile southward” over the Yellow Sea and minutes later numerous fragments were spotted in the sea.

In Japan, public broadcaster NHK reported a similar result.

A senior Japanese Defense Ministry official told reporters: “The missile did not fly in the announced area and the situation is not what North Korea had anticipated.” We are still analyzing whether it is a satellite or not,” Japanese news agency Kyodo reported.

Japan had issued an emergency alert ordering evacuations in the southern prefecture of Okinawa before lifting the warning and saying the rocket should not fly over Japanese territory.

North Korea issued a notification regarding its launch plan earlier today, saying the launch window would last until June 4.

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

The United States called the launch a “blatant violation” of UN sanctions, two months after Russian President Vladimir Putin met North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the Vostochny cosmodrome in eastern Korea. Russia, and that he promised technical assistance to the isolated country.

Kim said late last year that Pyongyang would launch three additional military spy satellites in 2024, continuing a military modernization program that saw a record number of weapons tests in 2023.

South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol said another satellite launch – North Korea’s fourth attempt – would “damage regional and global peace and stability”, while the South’s military Korean Air Force conducted attack formation flights and strike training to demonstrate “the strong capabilities and will of our army.” “.

Experts say spy satellites could improve Pyongyang’s intelligence-gathering capabilities, particularly on South Korea, and provide crucial data in any military conflict.

Seoul and the United States accuse the North of sending Moscow weapons for its war in Ukraine in exchange for technical assistance.

A group of Russian engineers entered North Korea to help with preparations for the launch, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported Sunday, citing a government official.

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