North Korea says 2nd attempt to launch spy satellite fails, vows 3rd

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — 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 came after the South Korean military said North Korea had launched a long-range rocket.

The North’s space agency said it used a new type of carrier rocket, Cholima-1, to put the spy satellite Malligyong-1 into orbit. It said the flights of the rocket’s first and second stages were normal, but the launch ultimately failed due to a fault in the emergency detonation system during the flight of the third stage, the official Korean Central News Agency reported.

The space agency said it will conduct a third launch attempt in October after investigating what went wrong with the Jupiter launch. “The cause of the related accident is not a major issue in terms of the reliability of the cascade engines and system,” the company added.

Earlier on Thursday, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement that it had detected a rocket flying above international waters off the west coast of the Korean Peninsula, with the base at 3:50 a.m. in North Korea’s northwestern Dongchang-ri region. The main space launch center is located. The North failed to launch a spy satellite in late May.

South Korea’s military said it had strengthened its surveillance position and was in close coordination with the United States.

On May 31, a North Korean rocket carrying a spy satellite plummeted into the ocean, setting back President Kim Jong Un’s push to establish a space-based surveillance system to better monitor the United States and South Korea. North Korea vowed to make a second attempt.

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After the first missile attempt, North Korea was unusually quick to admit defeat, saying the newly developed Cholima-1 rocket lost thrust between launch stages and fell into the sea. The North’s ruling party leadership described the failed launch as a serious setback in the country’s efforts to strengthen its military capabilities amid tensions with rivals.

South Korea’s military recovered some debris after the failed launch and said in early July that a North Korean satellite was not advanced enough for military reconnaissance.

South Korea, the United States and other countries have condemned the May missile as raising tensions and violating UN Security Council resolutions.

Thursday’s launch came three days after the U.S. and South Korean militaries began annual military exercises that North Korea calls an invasion rehearsal.

North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency has said the 11-day US-South Korean drills are raising the risk of a nuclear war on the Korean Peninsula. It said the current situation forces North Korea to take “offensive, overwhelming” measures, but did not elaborate.

South Korea’s spy agency told lawmakers last week of signs North Korea is preparing for test flights of intercontinental ballistic missiles and other provocative weapons. On Monday, KCNA said Kim had observed test firings of strategic cruise missiles.

Since early 2022, North Korea has tested about 100 missiles. Along with the North’s testing activities, US-South Korea joint military exercises have recently intensified.

North Korea says its weapons test is part of efforts to strengthen its nuclear deterrent in the face of growing US-led military threats. But many experts say North Korea is aiming to modernize its weapons to increase its leverage to get more concessions from the United States.

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A spy satellite is among the high-tech weapons systems that Kim has publicly promised to buy.

After a series of failures, North Korea successfully put its first satellite into orbit in 2012 and its second in 2016. North Korea said the two were Earth observation satellites launched under its peaceful space development program, but many foreign experts believed they were created for spying. Its competitors.

Observers say there is no evidence that either satellite sent images back to North Korea. But those satellite missiles are believed to have advanced North Korea’s long-range missile technology.

Since 2017, North Korea has conducted intercontinental ballistic missile tests, demonstrating the ability of the United States to launch missiles anywhere within the continental United States. Enough to top the missiles and those warheads can withstand the harsh conditions of re-entry into the atmosphere.

UN The Security Council has imposed economic sanctions on North Korea, citing its satellite missiles as a cover for long-range missile tests. But the UN council failed to adopt additional sanctions on the North’s latest missile launches because permanent veto-wielding members Russia and China oppose them, underscoring a deepening rift over Russia’s war on Ukraine.

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