North Korea’s ruling party has condemned a recent failed satellite launch at a high-level meeting, state media reported Monday, “bitterly” criticizing the officials responsible.
North Korea attempted to put its first military spy satellite into orbit on May 31, but the missile and its payload fell into the ocean shortly after launch due to what Pyongyang said was a rocket failure.
At a meeting of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea, the ruling party “strongly criticized officials who recklessly handled preparations for the satellite launch” and demanded an investigation into the “serious” failure, state-run KCNA said.
The group reiterated its pledge to successfully launch its spy satellite soon, which Pyongyang has already said would counter a growing US military presence in the region.
The United States, South Korea and Japan condemned the May 31 launch, saying it violated United Nations resolutions barring the nuclear-armed nation from conducting any tests using ballistic missile technology.
Analysts say there is significant technological overlap between the development of intercontinental ballistic missiles and space launch capabilities.
Along with the satellite launch attempt, North Korea has conducted several sanctions-defying launches this year, including testing its most powerful intercontinental ballistic missile.
Relations between North and South Korea are at one of their lowest points, with diplomacy at a standstill and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un calling for weapons upgrades, including tactical nuclear weapons.
South Korea says it has recovered most of the rocket that crashed under the sea in the past few days.
Seoul spent more than two weeks recovering the wreckage because the debris could help scientists gain insight into Pyongyang’s ballistic missile and surveillance satellite programs.
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