North Korea’s attempt to launch a spy satellite into orbit this week ended in failure, The Associated Press reported on Thursday.
The failed launch marks a second attempt by North Korea to send a spy satellite into orbit, after the first launch in May ended with the satellite crashing into the ocean. North Korea quickly acknowledged the second failed launch and vowed to make a third attempt in October, according to the AP.
“Kim may have licked his wounds after this second failure, but he’s already dusting himself off and moving on,” Soo Kim, expert with Virginia-based consultancy LMI and a former CIA analyst, said to the AP. “In previous cases where the North has failed a weapons demonstration, we never saw them give up but show greater perseverance in view of their longer-term ambitions.”
South Korea’s Joint Chief of Staff detected a rocket in flight above international waters after launch from the Tongchang-ri area in North Korea at approximately 3:50 a.m. local time on Thursday, according to the AP. Japan issued a “J-alert” briefly after the launch and ordered citizens to take shelter as the rocket flew overhead in the Okinawa region. (RELATED: Kim Jong Un Has Ballooned To 300+ Pounds Due To Constant Smoking And Drinking, Spies Allege)
[North Korea’s missile launch] In the video taken by NHK’s reporting team from a hotel in Donggang, Liaoning Province, northeastern China bordering on North Korea, it was in the dark around 3:50 am on the 24th, Japan… pic.twitter.com/uIZRZkvuIK
— 🔥🗞The Informant (@theinformantofc) August 23, 2023
The rocket failed during the third-stage flight due to a fault in the emergency blasting system, according to the AP. The National Aerospace Development Administration said on Thursday that it would investigate the failed launch, but added that “the cause of the relevant accident is not a big issue in terms of the reliability of cascade engines and the system.”
Japan, South Korea and the U.S. had all warned North Korea that the satellite launch would violate restrictions against the country’s use of ballistic technologies, according to the AP. North Korea proceeded anyway, and despite the failure, pledged to make a third attempt in October.
“As for the admission, there’s probably no point or gain from denying or trying to cover up the failure. If anything, denying it would make Kim look even worse,” Soo Kim said to the AP. “Today’s failure, in short, is just a slight scratch that can easily buffed with a comeback — whether that’s a third satellite launch that’s successful, or an advancement in its nuclear and missile capability remains to be seen.”
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