North Korea says its latest attempt to launch satellite failed

North Korea says its latest attempt to launch a military reconnaissance satellite failed on Monday, after the rocket carrying it exploded in midair.

North Korea's National Aerospace Technology Administration made the announcement via the state-run Korean Central News Agency. It said that after the launch from the Sohae launching station in the country's northwest, the rocket blew up during the first stage of flight.

The aerospace agency said that the preliminary conclusion was that the accident could be attributed to the operational reliability of a newly-developed engine.

Footage taken by an NHK camera on the Chinese side of the border with the North showed a shining dot rising into the sky from near the Sohae station on Monday night. It was later seen bursting into orange flames.

This was North Korea's fourth attempt to launch a military reconnaissance satellite, following its previous launch last November.

The North's first bid to launch a satellite in May last year failed due to second-stage engine trouble. The second attempt last August also ended in failure, due to a malfunction in the third stage.

North Korea will likely aim to determine the cause of the latest failure and launch another satellite. But Monday's failure could affect the country's plans to launch three more satellites this year, especially if it takes time to rectify the problems.