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North Korea announces launch of rocket carrying reconnaissance satellite

North Korea announces launch of rocket carrying reconnaissance satellite DPRK announced the launch of a carrier rocket carrying a reconnaissance satellite (Photo: Getty Images)

North Korea announced the successful launch of a ballistic missile carrying reconnaissance satellites, according to Reuters.

North Korea's state news agency reported that the Malligyong-1 satellite was launched by a Chollima-1 rocket from the Sohee Cosmodrome.

Dictator Kim Jong Un reportedly watched the launch in person. The DPRK also said that the North Korean space agency would soon launch several spy satellites to continue monitoring South Korea and other regions.

Pentagon spokeswoman Sabrina Singh said the U.S. military was still assessing whether or not the launch was successful. Officials in South Korea and Japan also said they could not confirm whether the satellite had been put into orbit.

U.S. State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said the launch used ballistic missile technology that is banned under UN resolutions.

In response to the launch, the office of Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida convened an emergency meeting of members of the DPRK Situation Group to discuss response measures.

At the same time, after the launch, residents of the Japanese island of Okinawa received a message via the J-Alert alert system about the launch of a missile from the DPRK, with a call to take shelter in a bomb shelter. The day before, the Japanese Coast Guard reported that North Korea had notified Tokyo of its plans to launch an "artificial satellite".

DPRK's unsuccessful attempts to launch a spy satellite into orbit

In late May this year, the DPRK attempted to launch the Malligyong-1 spy satellite into orbit, but the rocket lost its traction and crashed into the Yellow Sea.

Later, on June 16, South Korea recovered several parts of the rocket and satellite from the seabed. After analyzing the recovered parts, experts said that the "satellite" was not useful at all as a reconnaissance satellite.

The DPRK made a second attempt to launch the satellite on August 23. Tokyo said Pyongyang used banned ballistic missile technology and that the projectile flew through the airspace near Okinawa.