STORY: North Korea’s first spy satellite launch ended in failure on Wednesday, after the space rocket crashed into the sea.
The newly developed Chollima-1 rocket was supposed to put in orbit the North’s first spy satellite... to keep watch on U.S. military activities.
In an unusually candid admission of a technical failure by the North, state media KCNA on Wednesday reported the rocket plunged into the sea because of instability in the engine and fuel system.
Neighboring South Korea said it had recovered what is believed to be parts of the space launch vehicle, including this large cylindrical object attached to a buoy.
Seoul's Joint Chiefs of Staff said the projectile fell into waters near the southwestern island of Eocheongdo.
The North’s satellite launch on Wednesday triggered air raid sirens and brief evacuation warnings in parts of South Korea and Japan.
The notices were withdrawn with no danger or damage reported.
Eleanor Shiori Hughes, a non-resident Fellow at Econvue, a Chicago-based think tank says there appears to be a sense of complacency among residents in South Korea and Japan.
"I feel like every time, in this case, if we're talking about North Korea, every time that North Korea fires a missile of some sort and there is a possibility that it may either fly over Hokkaido, or land in Japan's EEZ (exclusive economic zone), territorial waters, whatever, that people… I'm not entirely sure people how serious the Japanese people, in this case, or Korean people or South Korean people, will take when it comes to following guidance from authorities.”
Japan’s foreign ministry on Wednesday said it held a phone call with officials from the US and South Korea, during which all three countries strongly condemned the North’s latest launch, and agreed to stay vigilant with high sense of urgency.
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also condemned the satellite launch, adding that any launch by Pyongyang using ballistic missile technology was contrary to U.N. Security Council resolutions.
But North Korea remains defiant and is reportedly planning to conduct a second launch as soon as possible.