North Korea is reportedly preparing to launch its military spy satellite, according to South Korea’s defense minister. Defense Minister Shin Won-sik stated that the launch could occur before South Korea’s own launch of its indigenous reconnaissance satellite on November 30th. He mentioned that it takes about a week for the engine to be transported to the launch site and for the launch pad to be assembled.
Shin also noted that North Korea is believed to have resolved its engine problems with assistance from Russia. The country had previously attempted to launch a reconnaissance satellite in May and August, but these attempts were unsuccessful.
The launch of a military spy satellite has been closely monitored by the international community due to concerns about North Korea’s rocket technology advancements. The United States, in particular, is interested in the potential enhancement of North Korea’s surveillance capabilities. However, the use of ballistic missile technology is prohibited for North Korea under U.N. Security Council sanctions resolutions.
Despite missing the expected deadline of November 18th for the satellite launch, North Korea’s preparations are still ongoing. The country previously designated a “missile industry day” to commemorate the test-firing of the Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile on November 18th last year.
South Korea and the United States are actively monitoring North Korea’s movements and will continue to keep a close eye on the situation.