North Korea condemns US ‘gangster-like’ response to spy satellite launch


Kim Yo Jong, the sister and senior assistant of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, condemned the international community’s reaction to North Korea’s launch of a Military spy satellitewhich plunged into waters off the west coast of the Korean Peninsula on Tuesday.

Kim singled out the US, accusing it of hypocrisy, “gangster-like logic” and “ingrained hostility” towards North Korea.

“If the DPRK’s satellite launch should be particularly censured, the US and all other countries that have already launched thousands of satellites should be condemned,” Kim said in a statement released by North Korea’s state agency KCNA on Wednesday. She also accused the United States of observing “every movement” by North Korea with its own reconnaissance satellites and aircraft.

National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said at a news conference on Wednesday that the “biggest concern” with North Korea’s launches is that “whether they fail or succeed, Kim Jong Un and his scientists and engineers are working and improving and… adapt. And they continue to develop military capabilities that pose a threat not only to the peninsula but to the region.”

After the launch, NSC spokesman Adam Hodge said on Tuesday, “The door to diplomacy has not closed, but Pyongyang must immediately halt its provocative actions and instead choose to engage.”

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his daughter Kim Ju Ae meet with members of the temporary satellite launch preparation committee May 16, 2023 in Pyongyang, North Korea.  This picture was released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency on May 17.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his daughter Kim Ju Ae meet with members of the Temporary Preparatory Committee for the satellite launch May 16, 2023 in Pyongyang, North Korea. In this picture, it was released by the Korean Central News Agency of North Korea on May 17, 2023.

KCNA via Reuters

North Korea said Wednesday it was an attempt to destroy the country first spy satellite The flight to orbit failed, apparently embarrassing leader Kim Jong Un as he urges bolstering his military capabilities amid ongoing security tensions with the United States and South Korea.

In a statement released by state media on Tuesday, North Korea said the rocket carrying the spy satellite crashed into the water after losing thrust after its first and second stages separated. Scientists investigated the cause of the failure and promised that the authorities would “do the second launch as soon as possible.”

The statement marked a rare case of North Korea Admission of a military failure.

South Korea’s general staff described the projectile as “an unusual flight” and said it fell into the sea about 200 km (124 miles) west of the South Korean island of Eocheong. It was later said that they “recovered an object believed to be part of the ‘North Korean launch vehicle.'”

The launch prompted Early morning military warnings sent to residents of Japan and South Korea just two minutes after launch.

People on Japan’s southernmost island of Okinawa, which is south and slightly east of the launch site, heard sirens at 6:29 a.m. and were warned to take shelter. About half an hour later the all clear was given.

People in South Korea’s capital Seoul received a similar warning with airborne sirens and messages on their phones, but it turns out Seoul was never in danger and the city apologized for the mistake.

Kim promised that another North Korean military reconnaissance satellite would be “duly launched into space and begin its mission in the near future.”

Elizabeth Palmer contributed to the coverage.

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