SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – South Korea’s military confirmed it tested a solid-fuel rocket on Friday after its unannounced launch triggered a brief public scare over a suspected UFO appearance or launch of a North Korean missile.
The defense ministry said in a statement that the launch of the rocket was part of its efforts to build a space surveillance capability and strengthen its defense position.
He said he did not inform the public about the launch beforehand because it involved sensitive military security issues.
A winding filament of vapor in white to red shadows could be seen winding behind a bright white light in parts of the South Korean sky on Friday evening in parts of the South Korean sky. of South Korea were abuzz with messages from citizens who claimed to have seen a flying object, a rainbow-colored vapor trail or other mysterious lights. Some even posted photos and videos.
“What is this? Is this a UFO? I’m scared,” said one Twitter user. Another said he suspected it was a North Korean missile launch and was worried about a war, while a third said they believed that a North Korean spy operating in South Korea was sending a signal to the North Others suspected it was a supernatural phenomenon.
According to local media, South Korea’s emergency offices and police have received hundreds of reports of citizens who witnessed a suspicious flying object and mysterious lights across the country.
The South Korean rocket launch came four days after the south accused the north of flying five drones across rivals’ border on Monday for the first time in five years. South Korea’s military detected the drones but failed to shoot them down, causing security problems on its air defense network. The military later offered a rare apology for it.
South Korean officials have said they plan to use a solid-fuel rocket to put the nation’s first spy satellite into orbit. In March, South Korea successfully conducted the first launch of a solid-fuel rocket.
Solid-fuel rockets shorten launch times, have simpler structures and are cheaper to develop and produce than liquid-fuel rockets, South Korean officials said.
The defense ministry said Friday’s launch was a follow-up test to the launch in March.
North Korea is also pushing to develop its first military surveillance satellite and other high-tech weapon systems to deal with what it calls US hostility. Earlier this year, North Korea performed a record number of missile tests in what experts call a bid to refine its nuclear weapons technology and increase its influence in future dealings with the United States.