North Korea’s second space launch ends in failure

Lazy eyes listen


North Korea’s surveillance satellite, launched in the early hours of Thursday, failed to enter orbit owing to an error, according to state news agency KCNA, citing Pyongyang’s space department. The missile heightened tensions in Seoul because it occurred during joint military exercises with the United States.

The launch was detected around 3:50 a.m. local time from the Tongchang-ri facility on North Korea’s west coast, according to South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS). The rocket flew over the Yellow Sea southwest of Jeju Island.

The South Korean military is “maintaining a full readiness posture” in “close cooperation with the US,” according to the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

North Korea routinely conducts ballistic and cruise missile tests without informing the United States or Japan. This time, Pyongyang alerted Tokyo that it intended to fire a “space launch vehicle” between Thursday and August 31, and designated three maritime hazard zones ahead of time.

It was North Korea’s second attempt to launch the Malligyong-1 military spy satellite into orbit. The first launch, at the end of May, failed due to a “abnormal start” of the Chollima-1 rocket’s second-stage booster. According to KCNA, the North Korean space agency announced it would try again in October.

Meanwhile, the annual Ulchi Freedom Shield (UFS) drills between South Korea and the United States began on Monday. Pyongyang has blasted the 11-day joint military exercise as a dress rehearsal for an invasion. According to Pyongyang’s state media, the drills increase the likelihood of a regional nuclear conflict. Washington and Seoul, on the other hand, maintain that their wargames are solely defensive.

Since the armistice that ended the Korean War in 1953 was never followed by a peace treaty, a state of war now exists between Pyongyang on one side and Washington and Seoul on the other. The United States has approximately 30,000 troops stationed in South Korea.

North Korea has accused Washington of attempting “regime change” in Pyongyang and failing to engage in good faith in peace negotiations. North Korean Defense Minister General Kang Sun-nam warned earlier this month that it is not a question of whether or if a nuclear war will erupt on the Korean Peninsula, but of who will start it and when.