North Korea’s attempt to launch a spy satellite has failed, but the isolationist nation promises it will try again.
Residents in South Korea were told to find shelter as quickly as possible during the initial launching stage, with the population being contacted via public loudspeakers and text messages.
The launch, which the UN Security Council has banned the DPRK from doing, likely came as part of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s desire to bump the country’s military standing on the world stage.
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North Korea came clean quickly about the failure on Wednesday (May 31), following the launch at 6:37am at the North’s Sohae Satellite Launching Ground in the northwest of the country.
It said that its space agency would work on “the serious defects revealed” by the launch and promised that a new launch would be on the way as soon as was feasible.
South Korea, meanwhile, is understood to be making efforts to salvage parts of a wreckage presumed to be part of the rocket.
It was located 200 kilometres (124 miles) west of the southwestern island of Eocheongdo with images of a white metal cylinder shared by the nation’s Defence Ministry.
The Malligyong-1 satellite was launched by the Chollima-1 rocket but smashed back down to Earth off the Korean Peninsula’s western coast after suffering what the South Korean military described as an “abnormal flight”.
Fears have been raised by observers that efforts to launch the satellite in space with a ballistic rocket come as part of a wider ambition to establish North Korea as a major nuclear power.
No object is thought to have made it to space, according to Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary, Hirokazu Matsuno.
The move from the North comes in a bid to boost its military capabilities while diplomacy with the South remains on hold.
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