This screenshot from a video footage shows a North Korean satellite launch, May 27, 2024, which failed and scattered debris over the Yellow Sea.

This screenshot from a video footage shows a North Korean satellite launch, May 27, 2024, which failed and scattered debris over the Yellow Sea. (South Korean Ministry of National Defense)

CAMP HUMPHREYS, South Korea — Seoul for the first time has released video footage of a Pyongyang satellite launch, which failed Monday night and scattered debris over the Yellow Sea.

The black-and-white footage shows the satellite’s rocket exploding over the sea at 10:46 p.m., two minutes after launch, a Ministry of National Defense spokesman told Stars and Stripes by phone Tuesday. The video was taken from a South Korea military vessel sailing northwest of the Korean Peninsula.

The spokesman declined to elaborate on the footage but said it was the first time the military publicly released a video of a North Korean satellite launch.

U.S., South Korean and Japanese destroyers equipped with Aegis missile-defense systems were operating in the area to collect and share information about the launch, the South’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a text message to news reporters Tuesday.

North Korea had notified Japan’s coast guard that it planned to launch a satellite sometime between Monday and June 3, a coast guard spokeswoman said by phone Tuesday.

The notice is based on an agreement by the International Maritime Organization, which requires members to give prior warning to any activities that could affect navigational safety, the spokeswoman said.

South Korean and Japanese officials customarily speak to the media on condition of anonymity.

Japanese broadcasters NHK and TV Asahi captured separate videos of the explosion; cameras were set up in southern China, according to their reports.

The rocket carrying the satellite exploded in its first stage of flight, an unnamed National Aerospace Technology Administration official said in a state-run Korean Central News Agency report Monday.

The U.S., South Korean and Japanese militaries separately condemned the launch.

North Korea is banned by the U.N. Security Council from testing the ballistic missile technology used to launch its satellites, the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command said in a statement Tuesday.

This “brazen violation of multiple unanimous U.N. Security Council resolutions raises tensions, and risks destabilizing the security situation in the region and beyond,” according to the statement.

Monday’s launch marked the communist regime’s fourth attempt to place a satellite into orbit over the past 12 months. Of those launches on May 31, Aug. 24 and Nov. 21, only the November try was successful.

North Korea will continue advancing its weapons program and launch three spy satellites this year, leader Kim Jong Un said during a New Year’s Eve speech in Pyongyang, KCNA reported at the time.

David Choi is based in South Korea and reports on the U.S. military and foreign policy. He served in the U.S. Army and California Army National Guard. He graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles.
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Hana Kusumoto is a reporter/translator who has been covering local authorities in Japan since 2002. She was born in Nagoya, Japan, and lived in Australia and Illinois growing up. She holds a journalism degree from Boston University and previously worked for the Christian Science Monitor’s Tokyo bureau.

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