North Korean satellite plunges into sea after rocket failure

North Korean satellite plunges into sea after rocket failure
People watch a TV broadcasting a news report on North Korea firing what it called a space satellite toward the south, in Seoul, South Korea, on May 31, 2023.
PHOTO: Reuters

SEOUL/TOKYO - A North Korean satellite launch on Wednesday (May 31) ended in failure after the rocket's second stage malfunctioned, sending the booster and payload plunging into the sea, North Korean state media said.

The new "Chollima-1" satellite launch rocket failed because of instability in the engine and fuel system, state news agency KCNA reported.

The flight was the nuclear-armed state's sixth satellite launch attempt, and the first since 2016. It was supposed to put North Korea's first spy satellite in orbit.

It prompted emergency alerts and brief evacuation warnings in parts of South Korea and Japan. The notices were withdrawn with no danger or damage reported.

North Korea had said it would launch its first military reconnaissance satellite between May 31 and June 11 to boost monitoring of US military activities.

South Korea last week placed satellites in orbit with a domestically designed and produced rocket for the first time, and China sent three astronauts to its space station as part of crew rotation on Tuesday.

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