Kim acknowledges failure of military spy satellite launch

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has acknowledged for the first time that Pyongyang's fourth launch of a military reconnaissance satellite failed on Monday.

North Korea's ruling Workers' Party newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, reported on Wednesday that Kim delivered a speech at the Academy of Defense Science on Tuesday. The academy develops military spy satellites.

Kim reportedly noted that a rocket carrying the military reconnaissance satellite had exploded in midair. He said a self-destruct system had activated, due to an abnormality in the first-stage engine.

Kim asserted that North Korea's possession of military reconnaissance satellites is justified, as the nation must counter US military maneuvers and provocative acts.

He said the satellites are needed to further strengthen North Korea's defense and deterrence capabilities, as well as to protect the country's sovereignty from potential threats.

He went on to say that although Monday's launch did not achieve the desired result, North Korea will not be frightened by the failure. He said the nation will instead make a greater effort.

He encouraged the scientists and technicians by telling them that failure is a prerequisite for success.

North Korea has announced that it plans to launch three military spy satellites this year. The country's scientists are expected to investigate the cause of the failure and to carefully consider the timing of the fifth launch.