North Korea says its latest satellite launch exploded in flight

North Korea says its latest satellite launch exploded in flight
# 27 May 2024 20:00 (UTC +04:00)

North Korea said its attempt to launch a new military reconnaissance satellite ended in failure on Monday when a newly developed rocket engine exploded in flight, APA reports citing Reuters.

The attempt came just hours after Pyongyang issued a warning that it would try to launch a satellite by June 4, in what would have been its second spy satellite in orbit.

Instead, the launch became the nuclear-armed North's latest failure, following two other fiery crashes last year. It successfully placed its first spy satellite in orbit in November.

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

An intial analysis suggested that the cause was a newly developed liquid fuel rocket motor, but other possible causes were being investigated, the report said.

Officials in South Korea and Japan had earlier reported that the launch seemed to have failed.

North Korea fired the projectile on a southern path off its west coast at around 10:44 p.m. (1344 GMT), the South's Joint Chiefs of Staff said.

JCS said it had detected a large amount of debris from the rocket in the sea just two minutes after launch, however.

The object launched by North Korea disappeared over the Yellow Sea, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshimasa Hayashi told reporters, adding the government presumes nothing had entered the space.

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