North Korea slams officials in furious response to satellite launch failure

Pyongyang, North Korea - North Korea's ruling party slammed a recent failed satellite launch in a high-level meeting, state media reported on Monday, "bitterly" criticizing the officials responsible.

North Korea's attempt to launch its first military spy satellite failed, angering its ruling party.
North Korea's attempt to launch its first military spy satellite failed, angering its ruling party.  © REUTERS

North Korea attempted to put its first military spy satellite into orbit on May 31, but the projectile and its payload crashed into the sea shortly after launch due to what Pyongyang said was a rocket failure.

In the report from the meeting of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea, the ruling party "bitterly criticized the officials who irresponsibly conducted the preparations for satellite launch" and demanded a probe into the "serious" failure, state-run KCNA said.

The committee reiterated a pledge to soon successfully launch its spy satellite, which Pyongyang has previously said it needs in order to counterbalance the growing US military presence in the region.

South Korea recovers part of crashed satellite

The May 31 launch was denounced by the US, South Korea, and Japan, which said it violated United Nations resolutions barring the nuclear-armed country from any tests using ballistic missile technology.

Analysts have said there is significant technological overlap between the development of intercontinental ballistic missiles and space launch capabilities.

Along with the attempted satellite launch, North Korea has conducted multiple sanctions-defying launches this year, including test-firing its most powerful intercontinental ballistic missiles.

South Korea said in recent days it had successfully retrieved a large chunk of the crashed rocket from the seabed, hoping to gain insight into Pyongyang's ballistic missile and satellite surveillance programs.

Cover photo: REUTERS

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