North Korea says rocket carrying spy satellite explodes, fails

A North Korean rocket carrying its second spy satellite exploded midair on Monday, state media have announced, after its neighbors strongly rebuked its planned launch.

The attempt came just hours after North Korea notified Japan’s coast guard about its plans to launch "a satellite rocket," with a warning to exercise caution in the waters between the Korean Peninsula and China and east of the main Philippine island of Luzon during a launch window from Monday through June 3.

South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff later said it detected a launch trajectory believed to be of a spy satellite fired from the North's main space center at 10:44 p.m. on Monday.

But minutes later "many fragments of the projectile were detected in North Korean waters, and the U.S. and South Korea are analyzing whether it had an operational flight," the JCS added.

Monday's launch came only hours after the leaders of South Korea, China and Japan met in Seoul in their first trilateral meeting in more than four years.

North Korea sends military satellite into orbit

North Korea sent its first military reconnaissance satellite into orbit last November as part of efforts to build a space-based surveillance network to cope with what it calls increasing U.S.-led military threats.


FILE - South Korea's 24-hour Yonhapnews TV shows a file image of North Korea's missile launch during a news program on a TV at Yongsan Railroad Station in Seoul. North Korea fired several rounds of short-range ballistic missiles toward the East Sea o

The November launch followed two failed liftoffs.

Last year, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un vowed to launch three additional military spy satellites, produce more nuclear materials and introduce attack drones in 2024, as he called for "overwhelming" war readiness to cope with U.S.-led confrontational moves, state media reported.

RELATED: North Korea's plans for 2024: 3 more spy satellites and more nuclear materials

Kim’s comments, made during a key ruling Workers’ Party meeting to set state goals for next year, suggest he’ll intensify a run of weapons tests ahead of the U.S. presidential elections in November.

This story was reported from Los Angeles. The Associated Press contributed.

This is a developing story. Check back for more updates.