North Korea’s satellite launch on Wednesday went unsuccessful, with the booster and payload landing in the sea, according to North Korean official media. The South Korean military claimed to have retrieved some of the launch vehicle’s components.
According to state news agency KCNA, the new “Chollima-1” satellite launch rocket failed due to instability in the engine and fuel system. In an unusually direct admission of a technical failure by the North, the North Korean rocket crashed into the ocean “after losing thrust due to the abnormal starting of the second-stage engine,” according to the news agency.
The latest satellite launch was North Korea’s sixth attempt and first since 2016 at putting its spy satellite in orbit, if successful, this would have been the nuclear armed state’s first such satellite.
South Korea and Japan reacted with imposing red alert in some of their regions, along with evacuation warnings. The countries suffered no heavy damage and the alerts were called off.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff for South Korea announced that the military was carrying out a recovery operation to retrieve what is thought to be pieces of the space launch rocket.
The military released pictures of a sizable cylindrical object floating in the water roughly 200 kilometres (124.27 miles) off the west coast island of Eocheongdo.
The photographs appeared to show at least a portion of a rocket, including a “interstage” component intended to connect to another stage, according to George William Herbert, adjunct professor at the Centre for Non-proliferation Studies and a missile specialist.
According to Herbert, the device is most likely a propellant tank for either fuel or oxidizer. It is most likely a liquid-fuel rocket.
To improve the oversight of American military operations, North Korea has announced it will launch its first military reconnaissance satellite between May 31 and June 11.
For the first time, South Korea launched satellites into orbit last week using a home-built rocket, while China on Tuesday completed a crew rotation by sending three astronauts to the International Space Station.
The satellite launch equipped with ballistic missile technology was criticized by the White House, which also stated that it was evaluating the situation in collaboration with allies.
Hirokazu Matsuno, the Chief Cabinet Secretary of Japan, claimed that North Korea’s rocket failed to reach space since it vanished from radar above the Yellow Sea.
Japan has complained to Pyongyang via diplomatic channels in Beijing and strongly opposes the launch, the official added.