South Korea is planning to launch its first domestic spy satellite at the end of this month to better monitor its rival North Korea. The news was announced by South Korea on Monday. The launch comes at a time when North Korea is expanding its arsenal of nuclear weapons.
Before this event, North Korea had failed its third attempt to launch its own spy satellite in October, possibly due to technical reasons. The spokesperson for the South Korean Ministry of Defense, Jin Hyun-gyu, said on Monday that the country’s first military satellite will be launched on November 30 from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
The satellite will be launched by SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket. According to South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration, under a contract with SpaceX, South Korea plans to launch four more spy satellites by 2025.
Currently, South Korea does not have its own military spy satellite and relies on American spy satellites to monitor North Korean activities.