North Korea’s spy satellite explodes in mid-air after launch


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

Pyongyang’s patched rocket launch came from its Northwestern Space Center during the first trilateral meeting in four years between China, Japan and South Korea.

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

North Korean officials blamed the delay on an airburst problem during the first stage of the flight. According to the state-run Korean Central News Agency It described it as a “spy satellite”.

A North Korean rocket was launched as seen during a TV show in South Korea. AP

U.S. officials have expressed concern that North Korea’s satellite launches are a ploy to help bolster its long-range missiles.

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

Despite international pressure against such missiles, North Korea maintains its right to launch satellites into space and test missiles.

South Korea and Japan were quick to condemn Pyongyang’s launch, which Seoul’s Unification Ministry blasted as “a provocation that seriously threatens our and regional security.”

Japanese Defense Minister Minoru Kihara condemned the move as “a serious challenge to the entire world”.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has long depended on a close relationship with China because of numerous economic sanctions from the West.

North Korea’s launch attempt comes at a time when China is engaged in important diplomatic engagements in the region. KCNA VIA KNS/AFP via Getty Images

The launch attempt appears to be an unusual provocation as China seeks to make diplomatic inroads with Japan and South Korea after years of conflict.

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Late Monday, a spokesman for North Korea’s foreign ministry lashed out after Beijing, Seoul and Tokyo reaffirmed their desire to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula.

“Hostile acts that violate our inviolable national sovereignty will never be tolerated” A KCNA spokesperson said.

“The absence of nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula means a power vacuum and imminent war,” the state-run news agency added in a press release.

Kim Jong Un smiled at the time of North Korea’s first successful spy satellite launch last year. KCNA VIA KNS/AFP via Getty Images

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

The latest meeting is intended to help strengthen security cooperation in the region.

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