Mon. Dec 11th, 2023
Japan Urges North Korea to Cancel Satellite Launch as Debris May Fall at Sea

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has called on North Korea to cancel its plans to launch a satellite, as Japan received a notice warning that rocket debris may fall into the sea. Kishida emphasized that such a launch would be a violation of UN Security Council resolutions, and Japan would collaborate with the US and South Korea to address this issue.

The Japanese Coast Guard received a notice from an unidentified country, stating that a rocket launch could take place from Wednesday to December 1. The notice outlined three areas where debris from the rocket may fall: two west of the Korean Peninsula and one east of the Philippine island of Luzon. These regions align with the paths taken by the two rockets North Korea attempted to launch earlier this year, both of which failed in their mission to put a spy satellite into orbit.

South Korea has also urged North Korea to halt its planned launch. However, Pyongyang has ignored previous warnings, citing its rights to pursue a civilian space program under international law. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has expressed his country’s focus on satellite deployment and has sought assistance from Russia for its space program.

While South Korean officials believe that a North Korean spy satellite may be rudimentary, it could still assist Pyongyang in refining its target lists. This is particularly concerning as North Korea continues to develop new missiles designed to potentially carry out nuclear strikes in South Korea and Japan, where the majority of US military personnel in the region are stationed.

In response to these developments, South Korea announced plans to launch its own home-grown spy satellite on November 30. The satellite will be launched using a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.

North Korea’s previous attempts to put a reconnaissance satellite into orbit this year, conducted on May 31 and August 24, both ended in failure. South Korea was able to salvage wreckage from the Yellow Sea, providing valuable insights into North Korean rocket technology.

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