Japan says N Korean announcement of satellite launch 'extremely regrettable'

A still photograph shows what appears to be North Korea's new Chollima-1 rocket being launched in Cholsan County, North Korea, May 31, 2023 in this image released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency and taken from videoReuters

North Korea told Japan on Tuesday that it would launch a satellite between 24-31 August, its second such attempt this year, prompting criticism from Japan that any such actions would be "extremely regrettable". 

North Korea told Japan's Coast Guard on Tuesday that the launch would fly over the Yellow Sea, East China Sea and the Pacific, areas that Japan said are outside its exclusive economic zone. 

The announcement came just days after the leaders of the United States, Japan and South Korea met in the United States to project unity in the face of China's growing power and nuclear threats from North Korea. 

North Korea launched a satellite on 31 May that ended up plunging into the sea. The new "Chollima-1" launcher failed because of instability in the engine and fuel system, state news agency KCNA reported. 

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida called on North Korea to halt any planned launches and said Japan was preparing its PAC-3 missile defence system and gathering information. 

"A launch would be extremely regrettable," he told reporters. 

North Korea's May satellite launch 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 into orbit. 

It prompted emergency alerts and brief evacuation warnings in parts of South Korea and Japan but no danger or damage was reported.