Launch of Spy Satellite Failed Again, North Korea Says

Space agency says it will try again in October
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 23, 2023 7:15 PM CDT
North Korea Says Launch of Spy Satellite Failed
A TV screen shows a report Thursday of North Korea's launch with a file image during a news program at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea.   (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

North Korea said Thursday that its second attempt to launch a spy satellite failed but vowed to make a third attempt in October. The announcement followed a statement by South Korea's military that North Korea had launched a long-range rocket, the AP reports. The North's space agency said it used the new-type carrier rocket Chollima-1 to put the reconnaissance satellite Malligyong-1 into orbit. It said that the flights of the first and second stages of the rocket were normal, but that the launch eventually failed due to an error in the emergency blasting system during the third-stage flight, according to the official Korean Central News Agency.

The space agency said it would make a third launch attempt in October after studying what went wrong Thursday. The agency added that "the cause of the relevant accident is not a big issue in terms of the reliability of cascade engines and the system." Earlier Thursday, South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement that it detected the rocket flying above international waters off the Korean Peninsula's west coast after its liftoff at the North's northwestern Tongchang-ri area at 3:50am. The site is where North Korea's main space launch center is located. The North made a failed launch of a spy satellite there in late May.

South Korea's military said it had bolstered its surveillance posture and was in close coordination with the US. On May 31, a North Korean rocket carrying a spy satellite plunged into the sea soon after liftoff, posing a setback to leader Kim Jong Un's push to establish a space-based surveillance system to better monitor the US and South Korea. North Korea had since pledged to make a second attempt. South Korea, the US, and others have still condemned the May launch for raising tensions and violating UN Security Council resolutions that barred the country from using ballistic missile technology. Thursday's launch came three days after the US and South Korean militaries kicked off annual military drills that North Korea calls an invasion rehearsal.

(More North Korea stories.)

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