North Korea’s double failure: Spy satellite launch ended in accident

North Korea failed to launch its spy satellite, Malligyong-1. For the second time, the crash occurred due to a problem with the separation of the stages of the Chollima-1 rocket during the third phase of the flight. This is reported by the Associated Press.

An image of the launch of a North Korean rocket with a military reconnaissance satellite on board. Image: KCNA

Due to the rocket accident that occurred on August 23, some Japanese citizens even had to seek shelter from falling debris, as a North Korean rocket flew over the islands near Okinawa. Information about this launch was transmitted a few days ago when North Korean officials informed the Japanese Coast Guard of their intentions.

The failure befell the rocket two months after North Korea lost its first satellite, Malligyong-1, in the Yellow Sea due to an unexplained problem during launch. The National Aerospace Development Authority of this isolated country has already announced its intention to make a third attempt in October, after a thorough analysis of the latest accident.

The South Korean government claims that many of the technologies used by North Korea to create its spy satellite were stolen by hacker groups, according to Reuters. Protection against cyber attacks and theft of sensitive technologies of space programs is becoming an urgent problem all over the world. This month, the US National Center for Counterintelligence and Security (NCSC) issued a special message warning private space companies about the threat of intellectual property theft and cyber attacks.

A map of the Ministry of Defense of Japan, which shows in red the zones where the stages of the Chollima-1 rocket are believed to have fallen. Picture: Japanese Ministry of Defense 

The rocket accident has occurred at a time when the military forces of the United States and South Korea are conducting joint military exercises designed to demonstrate strength and stability in front of the aggressive-minded government of North Korea.

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and U.S. President Joe Biden met this month to discuss a trilateral security agreement aimed at strengthening alliances in the fight against the unyielding North Korean government and its desire to create intercontinental ballistic missiles. 

Recall that North Korea has had successful launches. In 2016, it launched a near-Earth satellite on the 74th birthday of the country’s late leader Kim Jong Il, who led from 1994 to 2011. But this spacecraft, an Earth observation satellite called Kwangmyongsong-4, failed and left orbit on June 30, 2023.

Earlier we talked about alliances and confrontation in space.

Follow us on Twitter to get the most interesting space news in time