North Korea's Pursuit of Spy Satellite Stumbles Again Amid Global Concerns
Latest Mission Ends in Failure
In a second attempt to put a spy satellite into orbit, North Korea's latest mission ended in failure. The satellite's unsuccessful launch on Thursday, acknowledged by North Korean state media, took place during the mission's third stage.
The satellite, if successful, would have been a strategic win for Kim Jong Un. Equipped with the capability to closely monitor potential threats and enhance the accuracy of their countermeasures, such a satellite stands as a highly valuable asset for North Korea's defense strategy.
South Korea's authorities pinpointed the rocket's launch at approximately 03:50 local time (18:50 GMT). Its trajectory saw it navigating through the international airspace, tracing a path over the Yellow Sea, situated between mainland China and the Korean peninsula.
Residents of Japan's Okinawa prefecture, a region in the southernmost part of the country, were thrown into a brief state of alarm post-launch. An emergency warning was issued, urging inhabitants to seek refuge indoors. This directive, however, was short-lived, lasting approximately 20 minutes.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida was quick to condemn the launch, emphasizing its breach of UN resolutions. In a strong statement, he mentioned, "Behaviour like this goes against the UN resolutions and we're already firmly protesting."
Echoing concerns, the US stressed the importance of North Korea abstaining from further provocative actions. Instead, the focus should be on engaging in constructive diplomacy, the US highlighted.
State-owned news agency KCNA offered an explanation for the latest setback, pointing out "an error in the emergency blasting system during the third-stage flight". Downplaying the glitch, they communicated it wasn't a significant hurdle.
This recent launch follows on the heels of significant diplomatic activities. A historic summit in Washington, which saw the participation of leaders from the US, Japan, and South Korea, just concluded. This is in conjunction with the commencement of the yearly military drills shared by Washington and Seoul.