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Science & Tech

August 24, 2023 1:34 PM IST

North Korea says latest spy satellite launch failed, but will try again

USA | North Korea | South Korea | Japan | spy satellite | North Korea's National Aerospace Development Administration | NADA | Kim Jong Un

North Korea’s second attempt to place a spy satellite in orbit failed on Thursday after the rocket booster experienced a problem with its third stage, state media reported, as space authorities vowed to try again in October.

Its first try in May also ended in failure when the new Chollima-1 rocket crashed into the sea.

North Korea has been seeking to place what would be its first military spy satellite into orbit, saying it plans a fleet of satellites to monitor moves by U.S. and South Korean troops.

“The flights of the first and second stages of the rocket were normal, but the launch failed due to an error in the emergency blasting system during the third-stage flight,” state news agency KCNA said of Thursday’s launch.

South Korea’s military said it tracked the flight from its launch at the North’s Sohae Satellite Launching Ground and concluded that it was a failure. It said it was seeking to find and potentially salvage any wreckage.

South Korea’s National Security Council condemned the launch as a provocation and violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions banning the North’s use of ballistic missile technology.

The White House condemned the launch as violating multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions, while the U.S. State Department urged North Korea to refrain from “further threatening activity” and calling on Pyongyang to engage in serious diplomacy.

North Korea’s National Aerospace Development Administration (NADA) said it would investigate and take steps to fix the cause of Thursday’s failure but that it “is not a big issue” in terms of the rocket system’s overall reliability.

“NADA expressed the stand that it would conduct the third reconnaissance satellite launch in October after thoroughly probing the reason and taking measures,” KCNA reported.

North Korea has made multiple attempts to launch “earth observation” satellites, two of which appeared to have been successfully placed in orbit, including in 2016.

(Inputs from Reuters)

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Last updated on: 27th February 2024