North Korea’s space aspirations under the leadership of Kim Jong-un faced a setback as the nation’s space vehicle failed to achieve its objectives once again.
The rocket, carrying another reconnaissance satellite, encountered problems in its third stage, similar to previous attempts, preventing it from reaching Earth’s orbit.
The Pyongyang space agency, the National Aerospace Development Administration (NADA), dismissed this issue as not being a “significant problem.”
According to media reports from the nuclear-armed nation, the NADA conducted the second launch of the Malligyong-1 reconnaissance satellite using the new-type Chollima-1 carrier rocket at the Sohae Satellite Launching Ground in Cholsan County of North Phyongan Province on August 24.
The Korean Central News Agency stated that while the first and second stages of the rocket operated normally, the launch failure occurred due to an error in the emergency blasting system during the third-stage flight.
North Korea’s space agency pledged to clarify the reason behind the abnormal operation of the emergency blasting system in a short period.
The NADA also reassured that the incident’s cause does not pose significant reliability issues for the cascade engines and the system itself.
The agency announced its intention to conduct the third reconnaissance satellite launch in October, following a thorough investigation into the incident and the implementation of corrective measures.
Earlier, the South Korean Joint Chief of Staff confirmed the detection of a North Korean projectile.
In their statement to the press, the JCS reported detecting the launch at around 3:50 am (1850 GMT Wednesday).
The JCS emphasized that the military remains fully prepared and closely coordinated with the United States while enhancing their security readiness.
The Japanese government initially alerted about the launch, describing it as a suspected ballistic missile firing.
According to the Kyodo news agency, the projectile traversed Japanese territory.
Pyongyang had informed Japan’s coast guard about the scheduled launch between August 24 and 31, prompting Tokyo to activate ships and its PAC-3 missile defense system in case any debris fell within its jurisdiction.
Seoul condemned such a launch as an “unlawful act” due to its violation of UN sanctions prohibiting North Korea from conducting tests involving ballistic technology, applicable to both space launches and missiles.
Kim Jong-un’s previous unsuccessful launch occurred in May, when the rocket named “Chollima-1” carrying the supposed military reconnaissance satellite crashed into the sea shortly after liftoff.
Despite this failure, Kim Jong Un has remained determined to develop a military spy satellite, a strategic priority for North Korea.
Amid tense relations between the two Koreas and stalled diplomacy, Kim has declared his nation an “irreversible” nuclear power, advocating for increased arms production, including tactical nuclear weapons.