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This morning (31st), a space launch vehicle launched by North Korea made an abnormal flight and fell into the far sea of the West Sea. The Joint Chiefs of Staff said the projectile had an abnormal flight and fell into the sea west of Fishery Island. Investigative reporter for the Department of Defense.

Hong Young-jae, tell us more about it.

Joint Chiefs of Staff announced that at around 6:29 a.m. today, a projectile that North Korea claims to be a space launch vehicle was launched from the Dongchang-ri area of North Pyongan Province in a southerly direction.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff said the projectile flew over the sea far west of Baeknyeong Island and then made an abnormal flight before falling into the sea 200 kilometers west of Echeng Island.

When North Korea launched the projectile, a North Korean space launch vehicle was detected by our Aegis ships and ground-based radars in the East Sea and West Seas, but the projectile was said to have suddenly disappeared from the radar during the flight.

Government sources said the projectile appeared to have flown abnormally and fallen off the sea west of Kunsan.

The launch site and flight direction are as predicted by North Korea, but an anomaly reportedly appeared around the time of separation of the first stage propellant of the launch vehicle.

A government source explained that preparations for launch were completed at the Dongchang-ri Satellite Launch Site late yesterday afternoon, and the military also learned about it and strengthened its preparedness.

It also stated that it appeared to have been launched from an existing launcher and not from a new one.

North Korea initially said it would launch its first military reconnaissance satellite in June, but contrary to its predictions, it chose to launch it by surprise this morning.

The military has raised its alert posture and said it is closely coordinating with the ROK and the United States to maintain a full readiness posture.

(Video Interview: Hwang In-seok, Video Editing: Kim Jun-hee)