South Korea condemns North Korea’s failed spy satellite launch 

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Picture credit: KCNA

28th May 2024 – (Seoul) South Korea strongly rebuked North Korea on Tuesday after its failed attempt to launch a second spy satellite, denouncing the act as provocative and a threat to regional stability. North Korea announced late Monday that its rocket carrying the “Malligyong-1-1” reconnaissance satellite exploded shortly after liftoff, presumably due to an engine malfunction.

Footage captured from northeast China during the launch depicted a flaming object in the night sky, erupting into a fiery explosion. The failed attempt marks North Korea’s third endeavor this year to place a spy satellite in orbit, after successfully launching one in November.

South Korea’s National Security Office declared the launch a violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions, irrespective of the outcome, and condemned it as a provocative act. Seoul’s intelligence agency previously cast doubt on North Korea’s claim of the successful functioning of the “Malligyong-1” satellite.

According to Yonhap News Agency, a group of Russian engineers reportedly entered North Korea to assist with the satellite launch, as part of a purported agreement between Kim Jong Un and Russia. The alleged deal involved providing technical assistance in exchange for weapons shipments to Moscow for deployment in Ukraine.

North Korea’s National Aerospace Technology Administration attributed Monday’s launch failure to issues with the operational reliability of the newly developed liquid oxygen and oil engine. However, despite this setback, experts believe that Pyongyang will persist in its efforts. Hong Min, a senior analyst at the Korea Institute for National Unification, emphasised that failures in satellite launches are common among nations developing space technology. He also suggested that Moscow’s technical assistance to North Korea would likely intensify following the data obtained from the latest launch, increasing the chances of success in future attempts.