North Korea’s latest attempt to launch a satellite fails after rocket explodes

North Korea has said its latest attempt to launch a new military reconnaissance satellite failed after a newly developed rocket engine exploded in flight.
“The launch of the new satellite carrier rocket failed when it exploded in mid-air during the flight of the first stage,” North Korean state media said, citing the deputy director general of the National Aerospace Technology Administration.

Large amounts of debris from the rocket were found in the sea just two minutes after launch, South Korea’s joint chiefs of staff (JCS) said.

Image: Pic: AP
It appeared to come from the northwestern region of Dongchang-ri, at around 10.44 pm, local time, (1.44pm, GMT) where North Korea’s main space flight centre is based, JCS said.
Japan put out an emergency warning on its J-Alert system telling citizens on the southern island of Okinawa to take cover in case it was a missile.

The warning was cancelled soon after, as officials realised the projectile was not expected to fly over Japanese territory.
The object soon disappeared from radar and a Japanese official said it appeared the launch had failed, broadcaster NHK reported.

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Initial analysis suggested the cause was a newly developed liquid fuel rocket motor, but other possible causes were being investigated, the report said.
A senior Japanese defence ministry official told reporters “the missile did not fly into the area that had been announced, and the situation is not as North Korea had intended. We are still analysing whether it is a satellite or not,” the Kyodo news agency said.


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Japanese public broadcaster NHK showed video of what appeared to be an orange dot flying into the night sky and then bursting into flames in an area close to the border between China and North Korea.
A Japanese defence ministry official told reporters that the colour of the flames in the footage suggests liquid fuel may be burning, but details are currently being analysed, NHK reported.
South Korea and Japan both condemned the launch.
Earlier on Monday, Pyongyang told Tokyo it planned to launch a satellite before 4 June.
After several failed attempts that ended when the rockets crashed, North Korea successfully placed its first such satellite into orbit in November.
It followed North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s trip to Russia, where President Vladimir Putin promised to help Pyongyang build satellites.
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Neither country has elaborated on the extent of that future aid, which could violate UN Security Council resolutions against North Korea.
Pyongyang has said it needs a military reconnaissance satellite so it can monitor US and South Korean military activities.
North Korea has been under several UN Security Council sanctions since 2006, including banning the trade of weapons and military equipment and freezing the assets of people involved in nuclear activities.
However, the totalitarian state has not denuclearised and even vowed to increase the country’s stock of nuclear weapons this year.

Source : Sky News