Willie R. Tubbs, FISM News
A spy satellite that was to have been North Korea’s first in orbit instead flew momentarily and then plunged into the Yellow Sea.
The South Korean joint chiefs of staff confirmed in a statement that the satellite, known as Chollima-1, was fired from Tongchang-ri, an area in the northern portion of the nation where North Korea has a launchpad.
Per Reuters, North Korean state media reports that engine and fuel-system instability caused the crash.
While the launch failure prevented North Korea from intensifying its effort to gather intelligence on the United States — North Korean leadership has been clear that this is the primary objective — the blastoff raised alarms in Japan and South Korea.
According to both Reuters and the Associated Press, evacuation orders were given in parts of both Japan and South Korea. The alerts were rescinded after officials determined there was no imminent danger.
Japan, South Korea, and the U.S. united in condemning North Korea’s actions, which were against United Nations resolutions.
“The United States strongly condemns the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) for its launch using ballistic missile technology, which is a brazen violation of multiple UN Security Council resolutions, raises tensions, and risks destabilizing the security situation in the region and beyond,” NSC Spokesperson Adam Hodge said in a statement.
Primary among the United States and its allies’ complaints was the fact that North Korea used ballistic technology to attempt to send its satellite into space.
This was, in a sense, a modified version of North Korea’s penchant for firing missiles over its neighbors as a means of posturing to the United States.
“The president and his national security team are assessing the situation in close coordination with our allies and partners,” Hodge said. “We urge all countries to condemn this launch and call on the DPRK to come to the table for serious negotiations.”
Hodge added, “The United States will take all necessary measures to ensure the security of the American homeland and the defense of our Republic of Korea and Japanese allies.”
South Korea’s joint chiefs confirmed that the South Korean military was attempting to salvage as much of the satellite as possible and had located what is believed to be part or parts of the space-launch vehicle.
This was the sixth attempt by North Korea to place a satellite in orbit. The most recent previous attempt occurred in 2016.