Unannounced rocket launch from South Korea raises UFO concerns

Southeast Asian Press Agency — After a brief public panic about a possible UFO sighting or a North Korean missile launch, South Korea's military acknowledged that it test-fired a solid-fueled rocket on Friday.

Unannounced rocket launch from South Korea raises UFO concerns

In a statement, the Defense Ministry explained that the rocket launch was a component of its efforts to strengthen its defensive posture and develop a space-based monitoring capabilities.

It claimed that the launch was kept a secret from the general public because it concerned vital military security matters.

In certain areas of South Korea's sky on Friday night, a twisted tendril of vapour with a white-to-red ombre could be seen slithering behind a brilliant white light. Social media and internet sites in South Korea were flooded with posts from users who claimed to have seen a flying object, a rainbow-colored vapour trail, or other enigmatic lights. Others uploaded pictures and videos.

What is that? A UFO, perhaps? I'm afraid," one Twitter user said. Another person expressed concern about war and their suspicion that it was a North Korean missile launch. Others believed it to be a paranormal occurrence or a drone light display.

According to local media, South Korean emergency services and police received hundreds of citizen reports of strange flying objects and lights they saw around the nation.

After accusing the North of sending five drones over their border on Monday for the first time in five years, the South of Korea launched a rocket four days later. Although the drones were discovered, South Korea's military was unable to shoot them down, raising questions about the safety of its air defence system. Later, the military made a rare apology for it.

Officials from South Korea stated they intended to launch the country's first spy satellite using a solid-fueled rocket. South Korea carried off its first successful solid-fuel rocket launch in March.

According to South Korean officials, solid-fuel rockets offer shorter launch times, simpler structures, and cost less to build and produce than liquid-fuel rockets.

The launch on Friday, according to the Defense Ministry, was a follow-up test to the launch in March.

To counter what it perceives as U.S. hostility, North Korea is also racing to construct its own military surveillance satellite as well as other cutting-edge weaponry. North Korea conducted a record number of missile tests earlier this year in what many believe was an effort to perfect its nuclear weapons capability and increase its leverage in negotiations with the United States.