North Korea says spy satellite ‘crashed into sea’.

North Korea’s attempt to launch its first military spy satellite has ended in failure after the rocket “crashed into the sea” and Seoul recovered some of the debris, state media said.

The launch, on the first day of a 12-day window it had announced to put the satellite into orbit, took place early on Wednesday, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) announced.

“The ‘Cheollima-1’ crashed into the West Sea of Korea as it lost momentum due to abnormal start-up of the two-stage engine after one step separation while flying normally,” North Korea’s KCNA announced shortly after South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) had said the projectile had disappeared from radar.

The JCS earlier said it had detected the launch at about 6:29am (21:29 GMT on Tuesday), prompting alerts in Seoul and Japan, which were later lifted.

The flight was the nuclear-armed state’s sixth satellite launch attempt and the first since 2016. It was supposed to put North Korea’s first spy satellite in orbit.

The JCS said the rocket had come down in the sea at the point where the exclusive economic zones of China and South Korea meet, and that divers were conducting a salvage operation. Photos released by the defence ministry showed a large cylindrical object tethered to a buoy.

George William Herbert, an adjunct professor at the Middlebury Institute’s Center for Nonproliferation Studies, said the images showed at least part of a rocket, including an “interstage” section designed to connect to another stage.

Herbert told the Reuters news agency that it was probably a liquid-fuel rocket, and the round, brown object inside a propellant tank for either fuel or oxidiser.

Source: www.aljazeera.com


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