HomeTop StoriesNorth Korea's Military Satellite Launch Fails Mid-Flight, Sparked by Rocket Engine Explosion

North Korea’s Military Satellite Launch Fails Mid-Flight, Sparked by Rocket Engine Explosion

North Korea‘s attempt to launch a new military reconnaissance satellite ended in failure on Monday when a newly developed rocket engine exploded mid-flight. The launch, intended to place North Korea’s second spy satellite into orbit, failed just hours after the warning that it would occur by June 4.

The failed launch marks another setback for North Korea following two similar failures last year. Despite this, North Korea successfully launched its first spy satellite in November 2022.

The National Aerospace Technology Administration’s deputy director general stated that the failure was due to the explosion of a newly developed liquid fuel rocket motor during the first stage of the flight. Other potential causes are still under investigation.

South Korean and Japanese officials reported the failure shortly after the launch. The South’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) detected debris in the sea within minutes of the launch, and Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshimasa Hayashi confirmed the disappearance of the object over the Yellow Sea.

The United States condemned the launch, citing it as a violation of UN Security Council resolutions and a direct relation to North Korea’s ballistic missile program.

The failed attempt followed a rare trilateral summit between China, South Korea, and Japan in Seoul, where leaders called on North Korea to refrain from such provocative actions.

North Korea’s previous attempts to launch the Chollima-1 satellite rocket also failed. In May 2022, a second-stage failure occurred, and another attempt in August ended with rocket boosters malfunctioning and payloads crashing into the sea.

Despite these failures, North Korea claimed that its first spy satellite, Malligyong-1, launched in November, successfully transmitted photos of strategic locations, though no images have been publicly released.

The launch underscores North Korea’s ongoing efforts to enhance its military reconnaissance capabilities, citing the need to monitor US and South Korean military activities. However, the international community continues to scrutinize and condemn these activities as violations of international agreements and security resolutions.

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