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Launch of North Korean space satellite triggers warnings in South Korea and Japan

North Korea launched a “space satellite” towards the south on Wednesday (31), local time, according to information from the South Korean military forces.

The case prompted emergency alerts and brief evacuation notices in parts of South Korea and Japan.

The North Koreans had said they would launch their first military reconnaissance satellite between May 31 and June 11 to increase monitoring of US activities.

In data provided to international officials, North Korea said the launch would take the rocket south, with several stages and other debris expected to fall into the Yellow Sea and the Pacific Ocean.

Air raid sirens sounded around 6:32 am in Seoul (6:32 pm GMT) as the city issued an alert asking citizens to prepare for a possible evacuation.

Later signs said the city’s notice had been sent in error.

The Japanese government issued an emergency alert on its J-Alert broadcast system to residents of the southern prefecture of Okinawa during the morning in the region. Residents were asked to protect themselves indoors if they were outside.

It later said that the missile would not go to the territory of Japan and withdrew the warnings.

Earlier, the US State Department had said that any North Korean launch using ballistic missile technology would violate several United Nations Security Council resolutions.

White House says it condemns North Korea’s space launch

The White House said on Tuesday it condemned a North Korean space launch using ballistic missile technology and was assessing the situation in coordination with allies, according to National Security Council spokesman Adam Hodge.

The satellite launch ended in failure after the rocket’s second stage failed, causing the booster and payload to plunge into the sea, North Korean state media said.

Source: CNN Brasil

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