A North Korean satellite launch on Wednesday ended in failure after the rocket's second stage malfunctioned, sending the booster and payload plunging into the sea, North Korean state media said.
The new "Chollima-1" satellite launch rocket failed because of instability in the engine and fuel system, state news agency KCNA reported.
The flight was the nuclear-armed state's sixth satellite launch attempt, and the first since 2016. It was supposed to put North Korea's first spy satellite in orbit.
It prompted emergency alerts and brief evacuation warnings in parts of South Korea and Japan. The notices were withdrawn with no danger or damage reported.
North Korea had said it would launch its first military reconnaissance satellite between May 31 and June 11 to boost monitoring of US military activities.
South Korea last week placed satellites in orbit with a domestically designed and produced rocket for the first time.
In data provided to international authorities, North Korea said the launch would carry the rocket south, with stages and other debris expected to fall over the Yellow Sea and into the Pacific Ocean.
Air raid sirens wailed across the South Korean capital of Seoul about 6.32am as the city warned citizens to prepare for a potential evacuation. Later alerts said the city warning had been a mistake.
The Japanese government issued an emergency warning over its J-Alert broadcasting system for residents of the southern prefecture of Okinawa to take cover indoors early on Wednesday morning.
It later said the rocket would not fly into Japanese territory and lifted the warnings. (Reuters)
Last updated: 2023-05-31 HKT 08:57