North Korea's Latest Spy Satellite Launch Fails

Rocket exploded in mid-air, according to state media
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 27, 2024 11:41 AM CDT
North Korea Says Spy Satellite Launch Failed
A TV screen shows a file image of North Korea's rocket launch during a news program at a bus terminal in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, May 27, 2024.   (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

North Korea says its attempt to put another spy satellite into orbit has failed. North Korea's state media said a rocket carrying the spy satellite exploded in mid-air on Monday. State media said the explosion was possibly caused by engine failure. The rocket was launched Monday night, hours after Pyongyang's announcement of a plan to put a satellite into orbit drew strong rebukes from its neighbors, the AP reports. South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said it detected a launch trajectory believed to be of a spy satellite fired from the North's main space center in the northeast at 10:44pm on Monday.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement 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. Earlier Monday, North Korea had notified Japan's coast guard about its plans to launch "a satellite rocket" during a launch window from Monday through June 3.

North Korea sent its first military reconnaissance satellite into orbit in November last year as part of efforts to build a space-based surveillance network to cope with what it calls increasing US-led military threats. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un later told a ruling party meeting that the country would launch three additional military spy satellites in 2024. The November launch followed two failed liftoffs. The UN bans North Korea from conducting any satellite launches, viewing them as covers for testing long-range missile technology. (In February, experts said the first satellite appeared to be active and under control.)

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