Thursday, June 20, 2024

North Korea plans to launch satellite

According to Japanese media reports on Monday, North Korea has informed Japan of its intention to launch a satellite by June 4, as stated by the coast guard. This announcement comes after Seoul mentioned that Pyongyang was preparing to deploy another military spy satellite into orbit.

The Japanese Coast Guard indicated that the eight-day launch window commenced at midnight on Sunday into Monday. North Korea’s notification outlined three maritime danger zones near the Korean peninsula and the Philippines island of Luzon, where debris from the satellite-carrying rocket might land, as reported by the Kyodo news agency.

Officials from the United States, Japan, and South Korea, during a phone call, agreed to urge Kim Jong Un’s regime to halt the plan. They emphasized that any launch utilizing ballistic missile technology would violate UN resolutions, Kyodo reported.

In November, nuclear-armed North Korea launched its first reconnaissance satellite, a move that garnered international condemnation, with the United States labeling it a “brazen violation” of UN sanctions.

Experts suggest that spy satellites could enhance Pyongyang’s intelligence-gathering capabilities, especially concerning its fierce rival South Korea, and provide critical data in any potential military conflict.

On Friday, Seoul announced that South Korean and US intelligence authorities were closely monitoring and tracking presumed preparations for the launch of another military reconnaissance satellite.

These suspected preparations were detected in North Korea’s Tongchang-ri county, home to the country’s Sohae Satellite Launching Ground, where three satellite launches occurred last year, with only the final one proving successful.

Seoul has stated that North Korea received technical assistance from Russia for that satellite launch, in exchange for sending weapons to Moscow for use in the conflict in Ukraine.

The warning from North Korea coincides with a planned summit in South Korea on Monday among the top leaders of Seoul, Beijing, and Tokyo, marking their first meeting in nearly five years. However, differing political stances indicate that North Korea is unlikely to be a major topic of discussion.

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