Alarm siren in Seoul/ North Korea unsuccessfully launches spy satellite

2023-05-31 16:05:33, Kosova & Bota CNA

Alarm siren in Seoul/ North Korea unsuccessfully launches spy satellite

North Korea test-launched its first military spy satellite on Wednesday. The attempt failed, with the missile crashing into the ocean — but not before causing alarm in Seoul, VOA's Bill Gallo reports from the South Korean capital.

Air raid sirens echoed through the streets of the South Korean capital.

Before many residents in Seoul got out of bed, loudspeakers warned them to prepare to take shelter.

Residents also received alerts on their cellphones, along with a message saying to give priority to the elderly and the young. All this is highly unusual, as North Korean missile launches hardly cause alarm in the South.

The warnings were prompted by the launch of a satellite by North Korea, which headed south before falling into the sea.

Seoul officials said the warnings had been sent in error but defended their approach as "better safe than sorry".

"This emergency message may have been an overreaction by a low-ranking security official, but it was not a mistake. Our principle is to respond in a way that may be seen as excessive, but cannot compromise security." , said Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon.

North Korea said the satellite was intended to monitor military movements by the United States and South Korea.

But the rocket carrying the satellite crashed into the ocean and was at least partially recovered by the South Korean military.

"It appears that the North Korean regime has encountered numerous unexpected technical difficulties. It is not easy for any country, even for the most advanced economies with highly sophisticated modern technology ," says Bong Young-shik, a professor at Yonse University.

North Korea admitted the failure of the satellite and said it would carry out another launch as soon as possible./ VOA

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