The missile, which is over 47 meters long, took about ten years to develop and cost about 2 trillion won (1.4 billion euros). The launch is a milestone for South Korea. In recent decades, this has grown to become the 12th largest economy in the world, but has fallen behind in the space sector. Asian countries such as China, Japan and India already have advanced space programs.
Neighboring North Korea also launched a satellite into orbit. It happened in 2012 and was followed by suspicion from Western countries. They saw the launch as a disguised missile test. Stalin-ruled North Korea regularly causes international unrest by testing ballistic missiles and using threatening language toward other nations.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in followed Thursday’s launch from the Naro Space Center, where the rocket took off. He promised significant investments in the space sector. For example, his country should be able to take important steps forward as a “space power”.
However, Moon had to admit that Nuri’s release was not an unconditional success. He stated that he was proud of the mission’s progress, according to local media, but also said that a satellite could not be put into orbit. South Korean officials say they are still figuring out exactly what went wrong.
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