North Korean rocket fails again crushing Kim Jong-un’s space dream

North Koreas leader Kim Jong Un oversees a missile launch at an undisclosed location in North Korea, in this photo released on October 10, 2022. — KCNA
North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un oversees a missile launch at an undisclosed location in North Korea, in this photo released on October 10, 2022. — KCNA
  • Rocket was normal in first, and second stages.
  • It failed due to error in emergency blasting system.
  • North Korea to conduct third launch in October.

North Korean space vehicle failed to fulfil the leader Kim Jong-un’s space ambitions once again as the rocket carrying another spy satellite could not make it to Earth’s orbit same as before, after the vehicle encountered issues on its third stage which Pyongyang space agency claims is not a “big problem”.

The media of the nuclear-armed country reported that North’s space agency the National Aerospace Development Administration (NADA) conducted the second launch of reconnaissance satellite Malligyong-1 aboard the new-type carrier rocket Chollima-1 at the Sohae Satellite Launching Ground in Cholsan County of North Phyongan Province at dawn of August 24.

Korean Central News Agency reported that the “flights of the first and second stages of the rocket were normal, but the launch failed due to an error in the emergency blasting system during the third-stage flight.”

North Korea’s space agency said that it would make clear in a short span of time the reason why the emergency blasting system was operated abnormally.

The NADA also said that the cause of the relevant accident is not a big problem in the aspect of the reliability of cascade engines and the system.

The agency said that it would conduct the third reconnaissance satellite launch in October after thoroughly probing the reason and taking measures.   

Earlier, the South Korean Joint Chief of Staff said that the military detected a North Korean projectile.

In a statement to reporters, the JCS said it had detected the launch at around 3:50am (1850 GMT Wednesday).

“Our military is maintaining a full readiness posture and closely coordinated with the United States, while simultaneously elevating our security posture,” the JCS was quoted as saying by Yonhap.

The launch was first signalled by the Japanese government, which said the North had fired a suspected ballistic missile.

The Kyodo news agency said the projectile had flown over Japanese territory.

Pyongyang told Japan’s coast guard Tuesday that its launch would take place between August 24 and 31, prompting Tokyo to mobilise ships and its PAC-3 missile defence system in case anything was to land in its territory.

Seoul has said such a launch would be “an illegal act” because it violates UN sanctions prohibiting the North from tests using ballistic technology, which is used for both space launches and missiles.

Kim Jong-un’s earlier failed launch

In May, Pyongyang launched what it described as its first military reconnaissance satellite, but the rocket carrying it, the “Chollima-1” — named after a mythical horse that often features in official propaganda — plunged into the sea minutes after takeoff.

The crash sparked a complex, 36-day South Korean salvage operation involving a fleet of naval rescue ships, minesweepers and deep-sea divers.

The retrieved parts of the rocket and the satellite were analysed by experts in South Korea and the United States, who later said it had no military utility as a reconnaissance satellite.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has made the development of a military spy satellite a top priority.

North Korea’s ruling party “bitterly” criticised the officials responsible for the crash in June, according to state media.

Relations between the two Koreas are at their lowest point in years, and diplomacy is stalled after failed attempts in recent years to discuss Pyongyang’s denuclearisation.

Kim has declared North Korea an “irreversible” nuclear power and has called for ramped-up arms production, including tactical nuclear weapons.

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