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North Korea says spy satellite launch ends in failure

AFP
Tuesday, May 28, 2024

SEOUL: North Korea´s latest attempt to put a spy satellite into orbit ended in a mid-air explosion, Pyongyang said on Monday, hours after its announcement of a planned launch was criticised by Seoul and Tokyo.

Putting a spy satellite into orbit has long been a top priority for Kim Jong Un´s regime, and it claimed to have succeeded in November, after two failed attempts last year.

Seoul claims Kim received Russian technical assistance for that launch, in return for sending containers of weapons to Moscow for use in Ukraine. But its attempt Monday to launch the “Malligyong-1-1” reconnaissance satellite ended in failure after it “exploded in the air during the first flight stage and failed to launch,” the North´s National Aerospace Technology Administration said in a statement.

An “expert review concluded that the cause of the accident was the operational reliability of the newly developed liquid oxygen and oil engine,” the statement, carried by the official Korean Central News Agency, added.

Japanese broadcaster NHK ran footage of what appeared to be a flaming projectile in the night sky, which then exploded into a fireball, saying it had filmed it from northeast China at the same time as the attempted launch.