North Korea has announced its intention to launch a satellite into orbit between November 22 and December 1. According to sources, this could be the country’s third attempt to put a spy satellite into space. Japanese and South Korean officials have expressed concern about the potential implications of such an action.
The Japanese coast guard has been notified of the upcoming launch towards the Yellow Sea and East China Sea, while South Korea’s National Maritime Safety Agency has issued a warning to ships in those areas. Ships have been advised to stay away from the launch site during the planned period.
South Korean officials have previously warned that another attempt at launching a spy satellite could be imminent. The Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has condemned North Korea’s plans and announced that Japan’s defense systems are ready for any unexpected situation. He also emphasized that the use of missile technology for launching a satellite is in violation of several United Nations Security Council resolutions.
Japan will work with other countries, including the United States and South Korea, to persuade North Korea not to resume launches. The South Korean defense ministry is closely monitoring North Korea’s activities related to the upcoming launch.
North Korea claims that strengthening military power is its sovereign right and a response to US-led space surveillance systems. Spy satellites are seen as key components of upgrading North Korean weapons capabilities, according to state media KCNA. This upcoming launch will be the first since September when North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visited a Russian spaceport and received pledges from Russian President Vladimir Putin to help Pyongyang build a satellite. Additionally, South Korea separately plans to launch its first reconnaissance satellite on November 30 from California with the assistance of the United States.
The ongoing tensions between North Korea and its neighbors continue despite efforts by international leaders to address these issues diplomatically.