South Korea’s military has warned North Korea not to proceed with its planned spy satellite launch. The military suggests that if the launch takes place, South Korea could suspend an inter-Korean peace deal and resume frontline aerial surveillance in retaliation. North Korea has previously failed in two attempts to put a military spy satellite into orbit earlier this year, but there are indications that they may try again soon with Russian technological assistance. Senior South Korean military officer Kang Hopil has urged North Korea to cancel the launch immediately, stating that the military will take necessary measures to protect the people if North Korea proceeds with the launch.
South Korean Defence Minister Shin Wonsik has confirmed that the launch is expected to take place later this month. South Korean and United States authorities are closely monitoring North Korea’s actions. The United Nations Security Council prohibits any satellite launches by North Korea due to concerns that they are disguised tests of its missile technology.
The South Korean military believes that while North Korea may need a spy satellite to improve monitoring of South Korea, the launch also aims to enhance its long-range missile program. South Korea has accused North Korea of receiving Russian technologies in exchange for supplying conventional arms to support Russia’s war in Ukraine. However, both Russia and North Korea have denied these allegations.
It is worth noting that in September, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un traveled to Russia and met with President Vladimir Putin in Cosmodrome, Russia’s main launch center. When questioned about whether Russia would assist North Korea in building satellites, Putin expressed interest in North Korea’s rocket technology.
As tensions continue to rise on the Korean Peninsula, it remains to be seen whether North Korea will go ahead with its planned spy satellite launch and how South Korea and the international community will respond.