North Korean spy satellite explodes in mid-air after launch – New York Post

North Korean spy satellite explodes in mid-air after launch – New York Post


North Korea’s attempt to put a second spy satellite into orbit caught fire shortly after takeoff on Monday, the hermit country’s official news agency confirmed.

Pyongyang’s failed rocket launch took place from its northwest space center at the time of the first trilateral meeting between China, Japan and South Korea in more than four years.

The hermit nation claims to have successfully launched a spy satellite for the first time last year.

North Korean officials blamed the setback on an aerial explosion problem during the first leg of the flight, according to the Korean Central News Agency, which described it as a “reconnaissance satellite.”

A North Korean rocket launch seen on a television broadcast in South Korea. P.A.

U.S. officials have expressed concerns that North Korea’s satellite launches are a ploy to help it strengthen its long-range ballistic missiles.

The failure marks a setback in North Korea’s efforts to exert surveillance against the United States, South Korea and Japan.

Despite international pressure against such launches, North Korea has maintained that it reserves the right to launch satellites into space and test missiles.

South Korea and Japan quickly condemned Pyongyang for the launch, with Seoul’s Unification Ministry calling it “a provocation that seriously threatens our security and that of the region.”

Japanese Defense Minister Minoru Kihara called the decision “a serious challenge for the entire world.”

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has long depended on close ties with China, due to the West’s myriad sanctions.

North Korea’s attempted launch came at a time when China was engaged in sensitive diplomacy in the region. KCNA VIA KNS/AFP via Getty Images

The attempted launch is apparently an unusual provocative action as China seeks to make diplomatic breakthroughs with Japan and South Korea after years of conflict.

Later on Monday, a spokesperson for North Korea’s Foreign Ministry criticized Beijing, Seoul and Tokyo’s reaffirmation of their desire for denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

“Hostile acts undermining our inviolable national sovereignty will never be tolerated,” the spokesperson said, according to KCNA.

“Denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula means a power vacuum and accelerated war,” added a press release issued by the official news agency.

Kim Jong Un smiles as North Korea’s first successful spy satellite launch last year. KCNA VIA KNS/AFP via Getty Images

The last such trilateral meeting between China, Japan and South Korea took place in 2019 in Seoul.

The recent meeting aimed to help strengthen security cooperation in the region.

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