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Space ambitions shattered as North Korean rocket fails once again after launch

Space ambitions shattered as North Korean rocket fails once again after launch

After its second bid to launch a satellite into space, North Korean media reported Thursday that its efforts have once again failed to send a spy satellite into orbit citing the problems as the vehicle reached third stage. 

According to the Korean Central News Agency, “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.”

Earlier, South Korean Joint Chief of Staff said that the military detected a North Korean projectile — likely a space rocket — as Pyongyang earlier indicated Japanese Coast Guards about firing a satellite into space once again.

In a statement to reporters, the official said it had detected the launch at around 3:50am (1850 GMT Wednesday).

North Korea claims that it has fired a “space launch vehicle,” which was fired southwards from North Phyongan province and “traversed the international airspace above waters west of Ieodo,” it said, referring to the Socotra Rock in the Yellow Sea.

“Our military is maintaining a full readiness posture and closely coordinated with the United States, while simultaneously elevating our security posture,” the JCS was quoted as saying by Yonhap.

In May, Pyongyang launched what it described as its first military reconnaissance satellite, but the rocket carrying it, the “Chollima-1” — named after a mythical horse that often features in official propaganda — plunged into the sea minutes after takeoff.

The crash sparked a complex, 36-day South Korean salvage operation involving a fleet of naval rescue ships, minesweepers and deep-sea divers.

The retrieved parts of the rocket and the satellite were analysed by experts in South Korea and the United States, who later said it had no military utility as a reconnaissance satellite.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has made the development of a military spy satellite a top priority.

North Korea’s ruling party “bitterly” criticised the officials responsible for the crash in June, according to state media.

More to follow…

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