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North Korea's attempt to put second military spy satellite into orbit failed, exploded in mid-air

South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said in that a North Korean rocket was launched in a southern direction off the Korean Peninsula’s west coast. It said four minutes after the launch, many fragments were spotted in the waters.

Edited By: Shubham Bajpai Seoul Published on: May 27, 2024 21:44 IST
TV screen shows an image of North Korea's rocket launch in
Image Source : AP TV screen shows an image of North Korea's rocket launch in Seoul

North Korea's latest endeavour to put another spy satellite into orbit has failed, as reported by the country's state media. The rocket carrying the spy satellite exploded mid-air on Monday, marking a setback in North Korea's space ambitions.

South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff detected the launch trajectory, believed to be of a spy satellite fired from North Korea's main space centre, in the northeast at 10:44 p.m. on Monday. However, the attempt was unsuccessful, with the rocket exploding shortly after liftoff.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff statement revealed that fragments of the rocket were spotted in the waters just four minutes after launch off the Korean Peninsula's West Coast. Both South Korean and U.S. intelligence authorities are now analysing the situation to determine the outcome of the launch, said Joint Chief of Staff.

Earlier on Monday, North Korea had informed Japan's coast guard of its plans to launch "a satellite rocket" during a launch window extending from Monday through June 3. This announcement had already drawn strong rebukes from neighbouring countries.

North Korea's first spy satellite launch

This failed attempt follows North Korea's successful launch of its first military reconnaissance satellite in November last year. Despite previous failures, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un announced plans to launch three additional military spy satellites in 2024, aiming to bolster the country's space-based surveillance capabilities.

The November launch also came after two unsucessful attempts. In the first attempt, the North Korean rocket carrying the satellite crashed into the ocean soon after liftoff. North Korean authorities said the rocket lost thrust after the separation of its first and second stages. After the second attempt, North Korea said there was an error in the emergency blasting system during the third-stage flight

UN bans North Korea's satellite launch

However, such satellite launches are viewed critically by the international community. The United Nations bans North Korea from conducting any satellite launches, considering them a guise for testing long-range missile technology. Nevertheless, North Korea asserts its right to conduct such launches, arguing they are for peaceful purposes.

Kim Jong Un has emphasised that spy satellites are crucial for monitoring U.S. and South Korean military activities, while also enhancing the threat posed by North Korea's nuclear-capable missiles.

(With AP Inputs)

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