North Korea’s First Spy Satellite Launch Ends in Failure, Amid Rising Tensions


The rocket carrying the satellite crashed into the waters off the western coast of the Korean Peninsula after losing thrust during the separation of its first and second stages.

North Korea's First Spy Satellite
North Korea’s First Spy Satellite ( Photo: Zee Business )

North Korea’s attempt to launch its first spy satellite ended in failure, according to a statement published in state media

The country’s scientists are investigating the cause of the failure, and authorities have vowed to conduct a second launch as soon as possible. This admission of a military failure is a rare occurrence for North Korea.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff reported that the launch took place from North Pyongan Province, with the projectile flying south. It passed over Baengnyeong Island in the Yellow Sea before falling into the sea about 200 km west of South Korea’s Eocheong island. South Korean officials described the flight of the projectile as abnormal and later announced that they had salvaged an object presumed to be part of the North Korean space launch vehicle.

In response to the launch, both South Korea and Japan activated warning systems

Seoul issued alerts for evacuation, which were later lifted without reports of damage or disruption. The Japanese government also issued evacuation calls initially but later lifted them. The United States strongly condemned North Korea’s use of ballistic missile technology, calling it a violation of multiple UN Security Council resolutions and a threat to regional security.

While the capabilities of a North Korean spy satellite remain uncertain, experts believe it could detect troop movements and major targets such as warships and warplanes. Recent satellite imagery indicates that North Korea plans to launch more satellites in the future. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has emphasized the strategic significance of spy satellites in the country’s standoff with the US and South Korea. Denuclearization talks have been stalled since 2019, and North Korea has been expanding its nuclear and missile arsenals through numerous tests.


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