North Korea’s Kim Yo Jong, the sister of leader Kim Jong Un, has announced that the country plans to launch a military spy satellite into orbit. This comes just a day after a failed attempt to launch their first spy satellite, which crashed into the sea.
Despite the setback, Kim Yo Jong remains confident that North Korea will successfully launch a military reconnaissance satellite. The launch has been criticized by various countries, including the United States and South Korea, who view North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs as threatening regional peace and stability.
North Korea’s Spy Satellite
The failed launch of North Korea’s spy satellite resulted in debris splashing down off the west coast of South Korea. In response, South Korea initiated a salvage operation in hopes of retrieving and studying the remnants of the rocket.
The Defence Minister of South Korea, Lee Jong-sup, confirmed that the debris found so far belonged to the rocket’s second stage.
The ongoing search operation focuses on locating the third stage and the payload. However, a large and heavy object remains submerged, requiring specialized equipment and time to retrieve it.
Resolution of Launch Problems
It remains uncertain when North Korea will attempt another launch. According to South Korean intelligence agency reports, addressing the issues that caused the rocket’s failure may take weeks or even longer
. This suggests that North Korea will likely take the necessary time to resolve the problems and ensure a successful launch in the future. The country is determined to put a military reconnaissance satellite into orbit and enhance its military surveillance capabilities.
New Rocket Design and Launch Pad
Images released by North Korea’s state media show the new rocket lifting off from a coastal launch pad. The rocket features a distinctive white-and-gray design with a bulbous nose, indicating its capability to carry a satellite or other cargo.
Ankit Panda of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace confirms that the rocket is a new design. The launch occurred from the newly constructed coastal launch pad at Tongchang-ri, suggesting North Korea may use a more prominent space launch vehicle.
The failed launch has drawn widespread criticism from countries such as South Korea, Japan, and the United States. Speaking in Tokyo, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin expressed concern over North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs. To emphasize their destabilizing impact on the region’s peace and stability.
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stated that any launch by North Korea using ballistic missile technology would violate Security Council resolutions.
North Korea’s Defense of the Launch
Kim Yo Jong responded to the criticisms by stating that the launch condemnation was a “self-contradiction.” She argued that the United States and other countries have already launched thousands of satellites, suggesting a double standard in the international community’s response to North Korea’s space development efforts.
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Kim Yo Jong dismissed the criticisms as attempts to undermine North Korea’s sovereign right to pursue space development and enhance its military capabilities. South Korea’s foreign ministry dismissed Kim’s claims as “distorted” and contrary to the United Nations’ vision of regional peace.
Criticism of U.S.-Led Military Drills
In a separate statement, North Korea’s vice foreign minister, Kim Son Gyong, criticized the U.S.-led military drills in the region. It included a multinational anti-proliferation naval drill. This criticism highlights North Korea’s ongoing concerns about military activities in its vicinity, which it views as provocative and threatening. North Korea perceives these drills as a hindrance to regional peace and stability. To call for a change in approach from the international community