In a recent development that has drawn global attention, North Korea has announced plans to launch a military spy satellite into orbit. This announcement comes in the wake of a failed satellite launch by the country. Kim Yo Jong, sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, confirmed the news, stating that the country would enhance its military surveillance capabilities.
A Failed Attempt and a New Promise
North Korea's recent attempt to launch the Chollima-1 rocket, carrying a military reconnaissance satellite known as "Malligyong-1", ended in failure, with the rocket crashing into the sea. Despite this setback, Kim Yo Jong assured that North Korea's military reconnaissance satellite would soon be correctly placed in orbit and begin its mission.
A New Rocket Design
Images released by North Korean state media KCNA showed the new rocket lifting off from a coastal launch pad. The rocket, with a bulbous nose presumably for carrying a satellite or other cargo, is a new design, according to Ankit Panda of the US-based Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. The launch used a new coastal launch pad at Tongchang-ri, indicating that a larger space launch vehicle might use the traditional gantry that has recently seen some work.
International Criticism and North Korea's Response
The failed launch drew criticism from several countries, including South Korea, Japan, and the United States. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stated that any launch by Pyongyang using ballistic missile technology breaches Security Council resolutions. However, Kim Yo Jong dismissed these criticisms as "self-contradiction", pointing out that the US and other countries have already launched thousands of satellites.