North Korea has issued a formal notice of a satellite launch, despite warnings from South Korea and multiple U.N. resolutions prohibiting the use of ballistic missile technology. The launch window is scheduled between November 22 and December 1, as reported by the Kyodo news agency. South Korea has urged North Korea to immediately halt preparations for the launch. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has instructed government ministries and agencies to be fully prepared for a potential North Korean launch.
Seoul’s spy agency recently announced that Pyongyang is in the final stages of preparations for launching a military spy satellite. In response, South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff’s Chief Director of Operations, Kang Ho-pil, sternly warned North Korea to suspend preparations. He emphasized that if North Korea proceeds with the launch, the South Korean military will take necessary measures to ensure the safety of its people.
This would be North Korea’s third attempt to launch a satellite, following failed attempts in August and October. The United Nations Security Council has issued numerous resolutions calling on North Korea to cease its nuclear and ballistic missile programs since its initial nuclear test in 2006. South Korea has alleged that North Korea is providing Moscow with arms in exchange for Russian space technology.
Experts have noted that there is significant technological overlap between space launch capabilities and the development of ballistic missiles. Russian President Vladimir Putin has indicated that his nation could assist North Korea in building satellites, as he suggested during a meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in September.
A successful satellite launch would enhance North Korea’s intelligence-gathering capabilities, particularly regarding South Korea, and provide valuable data during military conflicts. Throughout the year, North Korea has conducted a substantial number of weapons tests despite warnings from the United States, South Korea, and their allies. Just last week, North Korea declared successful ground tests of a “new type” of solid-fuel engine for its banned intermediate-range ballistic missiles, viewing it as a crucial step in the face of a precarious security environment.