By Yoonjung Seo, CNN
(CNN) — Kim Yo Jong, senior North Korean official and sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, said a North Korean military reconnaissance satellite will soon enter space orbit and begin its mission, according to state news agency KCNA on Thursday local time.
Kim defended Wednesday’s failed launch and North Korea’s right to self-defense, saying that if North Korea’s satellite launch is to be condemned, all the countries that have already launched thousands of satellites, including the US, should be condemned, referring to it as a group of gangsters, in the statement.
North Korea is well aware of “the protracted nature of the confrontation with the US” and will make all efforts to “bolster up war deterrence in all-inclusive direction,” KCNA statement said.
The statement added that North Korea will “never remain an onlooker” when the US and its actors continue its “rash acts of infringing upon our sovereign right.”
Earlier on Wednesday, North Korea’s attempt to put a military reconnaissance satellite in space failed when the second stage of the rocket malfunctioned, KCNA said.
“The new satellite vehicle rocket, Chollima-1, crashed into the West Sea as it lost propulsion due to an abnormal startup of the engine on the 2nd stage after the 1st stage was separated during normal flight,” KCNA said.
The report said “the reliability and stability of the new engine system” was “low” and the fuel used “unstable,” leading to the mission’s failure.
The South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff said it identified an object presumed to be part of what North Korea claims to be its space launch vehicle in the sea about 200 kilometers (125 miles) west of Eocheong Island at around 8:05 a.m. and is in the process of obtaining it.
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