People watch a TV report on North Korea's botched space rocket launch at Seoul Station in Seoul, South Korea, 24 August 2023. Earlier in the day, the North's official Korean Central News Agency said its second launch of a 'military reconnaissance satellite' from the Tongchang-ri area failed due to an error in the emergency blasting system during the third-stage flight. EFE-EPA/YONHAP SOUTH KOREA OUT

North Korea says 2nd attempt to put spy satellite into orbit failed

Seoul, Aug 24 (EFE).- North Korea’s second attempt to put a military spy satellite into orbit has failed, state media reported Thursday.

“The National Aerospace Development Administration (NADA) of the DPRK (North Korea’s official name) conducted the second launch of reconnaissance satellite Malligyong-1 aboard the new-type carrier rocket Chollima-1 at the Sohae Satellite Launching Ground in Cholsan County of North Phyongan Province at dawn of August 24,” state media KCNA reported.

“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,” it added.

The new attempt took place three months after the North Korean regime tried to launch what it claimed was its first military reconnaissance satellite on May 31, but the rocket carrying it crashed into the sea due to engine failure.

The National Aerospace Development Administration said that “the cause of the relevant accident is not a big problem in aspect of the reliability of cascade engines and the system.”

It added that “it would conduct the third reconnaissance satellite launch in October after thoroughly probing the reason and taking measures,” according to KCNA.

The South Korean army also announced that the North’s attempt to launch a space rocket had been unsuccessful.

Earlier, the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) reported the detection of the southward launch of the North Korean rocket at around 3:50 am on Thursday from the Tongchang-ri area on the North’s west coast.

Around the same time, Japan’s J-Alert missile warning system was activated in the southwestern prefecture of Okinawa, urging residents to take shelter from a possible missile strike, though the warning was withdrawn minutes later.

The Japanese government, which said that the launched projectile appeared to be using ballistic missile technology, announced that it flew over the Okinawa prefecture and that no damage had been detected on its territory or in its waters.

Top government spokesperson Hirokazu Matsuno said in a press conference on Thursday that Japan had lodged a protest with North Korea “in the strongest possible terms.”

“This is a violation of UN Security Council resolutions prohibiting any launches, and poses a serious threat to the safety of Japanese citizens…The launch is an extremely problematic act, not only with regard to the safety of aircraft and ships, but also to the public,” he added.

Meanwhile, Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said that he had instructed Japanese ministries and authorities to analyze the launch, state broadcaster NHK reported.

South Korea’s National Security Council (NSC) convened an emergency meeting after the launch.

The NSC standing committee members strongly condemned the launch as a grave violation of the UN Security Council resolution banning any launch by North Korea using ballistic missile technology.

The agency said that South Korean President Yoon Seok-yeol had ordered that the analysis of the launch to be shared with the United States and Japan in order to thoroughly prepare for the possibility of additional provocations by North Korea.

On Tuesday, the Japanese Coast Guard said it was notified by North Korea earlier in the day that Pyongyang was going to designate three maritime risk zones between Aug. 24-31 – two west of the Korean peninsula and one east of the Philippine island of Luzon – which is done due to the risk of rocket debris falling during launch.

North Korea had earlier launched six rockets with the aim of putting reconnaissance satellites into orbit, including the failed attempt in May.

The international community tends to closely monitor such launches, which they consider to be covert tests of ballistic missile technology. EFE