Voice of Korea, the DPRK’s international radio service, broadcast news of the failure to place the Kwangmyongsong-3 satellite into orbit.
Below is a recording of the radio station’s English-language broadcast for Friday. Voice of Korea typically updates its programming once a day, so is almost always beaten to the news by domestic media outlets. i’m posting it here because it’s the only radio or TV news available in English.
As expected, there’s no update on the reason for the failure.[audio:https://www.northkoreatech.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/120413-vok.mp3|titles=Voice of Korea, April 13, 2012]
North Korea-watchers with a keen eye have already noted how unusual it is for the country to admit failure, as Chico Harlan writes in The Washington Post.
There are a number of theories, mostly revolving around the presence of international media in Pyongyang, although those journalists were kept in the dark about the launch and learned about it from colleagues overseas.
One interesting idea proposed it that it’s because of the increasing amount of information coming into the country from overseas. It’s theorized that citizens would find out anyway so why keep them in the dark?
Whatever the reasons, the admission of failure represents a bold step for the government.